In 1959 the company won its first major contract in the education sector – transporting students from schools, to and from Melbourne’s Dental Hospital. Work with the educational sector – schools, colleges, universities, TAFEs – continues to be a major business focus for Victorian Touring Coaches today. The next decades saw the business and fleet grow. This happened through acquisition of part of Green Bus Lines and a connection with Centralian Tours, heralding a move into extended touring across Australia. Other charter contracts in Melbourne were also secured.
Victorian Touring Coaches is born
The 1990s brought with them some changes. In 1997 and at 72, Bill stepped back from the driving side of the business, after more than 50 years on the road. Bill and his then business partner (Bill had taken on a business partner in the 1970s) recognised the need to update the company’s approach to marketing. In 1998 there was a name change and, Armstrong’s Coaches and the longstanding tagline, Let us Quote was replaced by Victorian Touring Coaches on all vehicles. However, the move to the striking dark blue on white branding that makes Victorian Touring Coaches’ fleet so distinctive today, was more recent.
In 2001, Glenn McIvor, who has a background in sales and running small businesses, started with the company. Initially working a driver, within 18 months he became a third partner. Glenn’s capital was injected into fleet renewal and he focused on operational performance and customer service – the start of a new phase of growth and redevelopment for Victorian Touring Coaches. In 2007, Glenn bought out Bill’s other partner, making Glenn the majority shareholder. Much of this capital was also invested into new coaches – further strengthening Victorian Touring Coaches’ position within the market into the future, as well as the partnership between Bill and Glenn.
Set to provide transport services into the future
Today, Victorian Touring Coaches has a large fleet of modern coaches, ranging from 24-seat minibuses, 49, 53 and 57-seat school buses and 57-seat day charter or 5-star touring coaches. So we can transport any size group, as well as those from a range of sectors – education (schools and universities); corporate; social groups (social sports clubs) and others. And we offer services within Melbourne, around Victoria and across Australia.