Christo’s in the running for best bus driver

Kilcoy bus driver John Christensen AKA ‘Christo’ from Christensen’s Bus and Coach is a finalist for Queensland Regional Bus Driver of the Year. PHOTO: TRANSLINK MEDIA

The finalists for Queensland’s top bus driver award was announced last week, and one Kilcoy driver is in the running.

John Christensen, affectionately known as ‘Christo’, is a finalist for Regional Bus Driver of the Year for his near 50 years of service to the Kilcoy community.

Christo began Christensen’s Bus and Coach in 1975 with his wife, Lenore.

“I’ve been a bus driver for 49 years. I used to cut railway sleepers first, and then I drove a forklift for eight months, and then I bought the first bus run,” Christo said.

“We bought the first bus run in ’75, and then we bought another bus run and another bus run, and then another bus run at Woodford.”

Christo provides a regional-urban service between Kilcoy and Caboolture.

“It’s the service which runs six days a week, 52 weeks of the year,” he said.

“By doing this we’re providing a community service and most people appreciate it.”

Christensen’s Bus and Coach also provides tours and once held a 15,000km tour around Australia.

“I drove through the northern part of the territory and around Western Australia, back across… up through Broken Hill, Charleville and then home,” Christo said.

Christo said he was committed to safety and customer service with daily maintenance checks and the willingness to go the extra mile for passengers.

“I drive the buses every day, rarely there’s a day I don’t drive, even on Saturdays doing my service run,” he said.

“I’m always trying to do something for the passengers.

“If I can do one good deed a day that makes me happy and that makes the passengers happy.”

Christo said he was humbled by the nomination, and said it was recognition for all Queensland bus drivers.

“Every bus driver in Queensland, we don’t get recognised for the service we provide the community, and this is one small gesture towards recognising that service,” he said.

“In my eyes it’s not just for me, I’m happy to share it with all bus drivers in Queensland.”

Translink acting head Peter Milward said the role of local bus drivers was essential.

“Bus drivers help our kids travel safely to school, they get us to work and home again, and they connect us to social gatherings and major events,” Mr Milward said.

“The sheer number of nominations received demonstrates the outstanding service our bus drivers deliver in communities across Queensland.

“Congratulations to every bus driver who received a nomination and well done to the finalists for standing out in such a high-quality field.”

Voting is open until March 14, and the winner in each category will be announced at the annual Queensland Bus Industry Council conference on April 6.

To support Christo with your vote, head to translink.com.au