After years of planning, on Friday morning the new Dubbo Buslines depot was officially opened.
Located just next door to the old site on White Street, Buslines Group president Frank D’Apuzzo said the depot was an investment in the future.
The structure cost $6 million and the equipment was another $1 million, he said.
“Not just the vehicles but the way we operate has to be more technologically advanced. We have the technology now that will tell us if there’s going to be a problem,” Mr D’Apuzzo said.
He no longer had to worry about a mechanic having a bad day and missing something important, he said.
“All these things help me sleep at night.”
When a large part of the job involved transporting children, safety was paramount, Mr D’Apuzzo said.
For now, the depot will hold 32 buses, but it can hold up to 52.
“It’s something that Dubbo needed, not just from an efficiency point of view, but as the Deputy Premier [Troy Grant] said, there’s growth in the population,” Mr D’Apuzzo said.
“We don’t look at the shorthand. I’ve been involved with buses for 38 years and I hope it’s something my grandkids will do in the future.”
Seven years ago land was bought with the view to expand, but it has only been in the last 12 the plan has been enacted.
Initially, the depot was set to open in May, but work was interrupted due to the rain.
“Deputy Premier you said it didn’t rain in Dubbo. Next time you have a drought ring us and we’ll start buidling a depot and it’ll rain for sure,” Mr D’Apuzzo said.
Mr Grant said he was impressed by Mr D’Apuzzo’s pride and passion for the industry.
“The esteem you hold your team in and the way that you conduct yourself lifts you up in the transport game to be one of the best operators that I’ve seen,” Mr Grant said.
“The investment that you’ve made takes some courage, we live in some certain economic times so I congratulate you on your courage but you certainly have an impressive depot here.”