🠈 Greyhound and FirstGroup 🠊
Greyhound is a bus line serving the United States and Canada. The line is owned by a British company called FirstGroup which is based in Aberdeen, Scotland.
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The line was built by an American company that grew into a major conglomerate that owned restaurants, food companies and Dial Soap. There was a sharp decrease in the number of bus riders in the 1980s and the line was losing money. The union responded this decreased ridership by holding a series of strikes in 1983 and 1987.
Holding a strike in a down market made things worse. The 1987 strike was particularly nasty.
After the strike, Greyhound Corporation decided to sell Greyhound and is now called Viad.
The busline stumbled through a series of strikes, bankruptcies and route reductions before being acquired by FirstGroup.
The vicious strikes at Greyhound never made sense to me. The Perhaps the strikers were hoping the bus system would be nationalized as they were in England. Interestingly, at the same time that unions were striking in the states, the British government had decided to divest its inefficient bus system.
History of FirstGroup
Since the company that built Greyhound has distanced itself from the line, I guess that the corporate history for the firm should start with the company that acquired Greyhound.
This company's history is difficult to understand because England had nationalized then privatized its buslines. The privatization was followed by rapid consolidation. The company at the center of the consolidation had the name Bristol Tramways. It was named after a pioneer in transportation.
The first incarnation of Bristol Tramways started with electric trams and horse drawn taxi cabs; So I will start here.
- 1875: George White built Bristol Tramways.
- 1887: Bristol Tramways Company merged with the Bristol Cab Company to form the Bristol Tramways & Carriage Company.
- 1906: The company introduced motor buses.
- 1908: The company began manufacturing its own buses and sold buses to other companies.
- 1928: Bristol Tramways acquired a small British firm called Greyhound Motors
- 1921: Sydney Tom Toogood founded Greyhound Motors in Bristol.
- 1929: Great Western Railway acquire White's interest in the company.
- 1932: The Western National Omnibus Company acquired GWR's interest.
- 1930: The company sold its taxicab service.
- 1936: The company took over the city bus services in Gloucester.
- 1941: Tram service stopped during the WWII.
- 1943: The Attlee government nationalized the bus system under the British Transport Commission.
- While nationalized, ownership passed to Transport Holding Company and then to National Bus Company.
- 1983: The National Bus company split into Bristol Omnibus and Cheltenham & Gloucester Omnibus Company.
- 1986: Post deregulation: Bristol Omnibus Company and other assets formed into Badgerline Group
- 1995: Badgerline and GRT Bus Groups merged to create FirstBus with 5,600 buses based in Aberdeen, Scotland.
- 1997: The company became FirstGroup.
- 1998: New World First Bus took over lines from China Motor Bus in Hong Kong.
- 2000: New World Development acquired full control of this asset.
- 1999: FirstGroup purchased Ryder Public Transport Services from Ryder.
- 2000 FirstGroup opened the London Tramlink.
- 2003 FirstGroup acquired GB Railways. Assets included Anglia Railways, GB Railfreight and held 80% of Hull Trains.
- 2003: FirstGroup purchased a 90% stake in Irish-based Aircoach.
- 2004: FirstGroup commenced First Great Western Link, and First ScotRail.
- 2006: FirstGroup commenced First Capital Connect and renewed First Great Western.
- 2007 FirstGroup aquired US-based Laidlaw for £1.9 billion (US$3.7 billion). Laidlaw builds and operates school buses and owned Greyhound Lines.
- 2010: FirstGroup sold its railfreight business to the Eurotunnel Group for £31 million.
- 2011: FirstGroup sold its German bus operations to Marwyn European Transport.
- 2014: Advertisement: Greyhound began selling discount tickets through BusBud (I might get a commission on sales).
- 2019: Go Ahead Group purchased the Queens Road depot in Manchester from FirstGroup. They rebranded it as Go North West.
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