The Road Explorer - Summer 2017 - 17
still runs up and down the highway between cities on a daily
commuter service. We also donate it for special events, at no
cost. It's a nice way to give back to the community."
Numerous community groups and causes continue to benefit
from Delaney Bus Lines' generosity. In 2010, the company and
the Delaney family established the Mike Delaney Memorial
Award, honouring an individual who works tirelessly to provide
for his or her family, business and community. The award
is presented solely at Tagwi Secondary School's graduation
ceremonies in Avonmore.
The recipient of the award is selected by the graduation
committee, and is an individual who seeks to assist others in
need and who emulates Michael's genuine sense of care and
compassion for others, without personal reward or recognition.
The student must also be in pursuit of furthering his or her
education at the college or university level.
A proud member of OMCA (Ontario Motor Coach
Association), Delaney Bus Lines is also a member of the
Ontario School Bus Association, United Motorcoach
Association, the American Bus Association and the National
Association for Pupil Transportation.
Whether supporting its staff, its clients, its community or
the industry in which it thrives, Delaney Bus Lines is, indeed,
staying ahead of the curve.
Mark Begg, General Manager,
Delaney Bus Lines Ltd.
The Road Explorer: When all is said and done, safety and
training are the most important elements of the motor coach
industry. How has Delaney Bus Lines kept its professional
drivers up to speed on safe travel?
Mark Begg: This is a big issue for us. We've undergone a huge
review of our training program and our procedures. We're now
a Signing Authority with the Ministry of Transportation, so we
may issue licences on behalf of the Ministry here at our facility.
And we went one step further. We had our training program
accredited by the Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada.
We're the only independently-owned bus company in Ontario
to have achieved that accreditation.
With school bus transit a key portion of your overall
business, you've also bought into additional training for
Yes, the School Bus Safety Company (in Ohio) has been
producing some fabulous training programs, and we have
purchased just about everything they've produced. For example,
there is a comprehensive program for school bus training. There
was one released in May for highway coach drivers, which we've
also purchased. I like to keep ahead of the curve on training
initiatives, because it is extremely important.
"Ahead of the curve" is a great slogan in terms of what
you're doing with safety and training at Delaney Bus Lines.
And keeping ahead of that curve can sometimes be a rocky
road. In terms of other industry-related challenges facing
Delaney on a day-to-day basis, what, as of late, has forced
you to become proactive?
The school bus industry in Ontario is currently in
an extreme upheaval with the province's shift toward a
From left: General Manager Mark Begg, Chief Financial Officer
Pierre Seguin and Fleet Manager Chris Heuston.
competitive procurement model, rather than the traditional
negotiated contracts that we enjoyed previously. So, that
has created a lot of unrest in Ontario - a lot of unrest in our
industry. We are still faced with a lot of unknowns. Contract
trades have essentially been frozen, and it has really soured the
relationship between operators and their customers, whether
they be school boards or consortia.
How, then, do school bus operators meet this challenge
I think the good thing about the school bus industry in
Ontario is that operators take immense pride in what they
do, even though they are faced with some huge challenges in
terms of contract administration and financial compensation.
We still put our best foot forward.
Another great analogy: "best foot forward."
We do put our best foot forward, every day. We want
those kids to go to and from school as safely as possible. It's
important to not let the unrest going on with the province
affect that service in any way when we're on the road.
What about challenges with the highway coaches sector?
I see nothing but a bright future for the coach industry in
Ontario. We are represented by a fantastic association with
OMCA. It is second to none. And the same thing as with
school bus operators: motor coach operators take a huge
amount of pride in what they do with equipment and training,
and a huge amount of pride in drivers. There is nothing but
good things on the horizon for highway coaches.
You obviously recognize there is great value in membership
We don't see ourselves as a huge operator, with 10 vehicles
and 12 drivers on the highway coach side of things, so
sometimes it is challenging for a smaller company like us that
does not have a dedicated resource person, such as a legislation
consultant or a legal consultant. Having that resource at our
fingertips with the OMCA is absolutely essential and critical
to our business here at Delaney. And the staff at OMCA is the
best in the business. Combine that with the low membership
fee, then it's a no-brainer for this company to belong
Read The Road Explorer online at www.naylornetwork.com/omc-nxt