Christo drives the region

John Christensen with Translink acting head Peter Milward. Picture: TRANSLINK

John Christensen’s wheels go round and round, and this bus driver just got a round of applause.

On Saturday 6 April, the Kilcoy bus driver and owner of Christensen’s Bus and Coach travelled to the Gold Coast for the Queensland Bus Industry Council’s annual conference.

There, ‘Christo’ was crowned the 2024 Regional Bus Driver of the Year.

Christo joined in celebration with South East Queensland Bus Driver of the Year Luluu Berns from Clontarf and School Bus Driver of the Year Mark Nel from Yeppoon.

The winners were determined by a public vote with more than 13,000 votes counted.

The finalists were selected by an expert judging panel from more than 1800 nominations.

Christo said he felt blown away to be awarded Regional Bus Driver of the Year.

“It makes me feel more appreciated in the community,” he said.

“The award means people will realise that we have great operators and a great service, and we appreciate all their support.”

John has been a dedicated bus driver for more than 50 years alongside 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.

“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.”

John’s commitment to safety and customer service shines through in his daily maintenance checks and willingness to go the extra mile for passengers, helping with groceries or lending a hand.