Bus 751 was delivered in March 1988.

February

Mack/Renault PR 100.2s 698, 699, 750 and 752 were delivered in February as were the PR180.2 articulateds 702 and 703.

Workshop staff were very busy modifying and upgrading the bus fleet:

– Leyland Nationals were being re-powered with MAN engines;
– MANs were being fitted with driver air conditioning units;
– Later model MAN SL200s were being fitted with the larger 240bhp engine;
– MAN artics were being turbo charged;
– Various experimental colour schemes were being evaluated and
– Electronic destination signs were evaluated on 296, 304, 558 & 674.

Final sketch plans for Tuggeranong Depot received from NCDC on 19 February.

On 25 February drivers agreed to a spill of all new shifts as a result of the review of Services. New shifts were to be posted on the board on 29 February.

March

Mack/Renault PR 100.2s 691, 751 and 753 were delivered in March as were the PR180.2 articulateds 701, 705, 706 and 707.

Integrated Construction [Management Services] Pty Ltd were appointed by NCDC as Project Managers for the Tuggeranong Depot construction.

Restoration of the 1949 AEC Regal was completed and the bus was registered C59351 on 8 March. On 11 March the Regal carried VIPs from Electricity House to the Albert Hall and return and the ACT Administration Luncheon to celebrate Canberra’s 75th Birthday.

Next day, 12 March, the Regal carried VIPs from Regatta Point to New Parliament House and return and then participated in the Canberra Day Parade to celebrate Canberra’s 75th birthday

April

Mack/Renault PR 100.2s 754 – 757 were delivered in April as were the PR180.2 articulateds 708 and 709. Four Leyland Nationals were withdrawn: 257, 290, 299 and 305. The program of turbo charging the MAN artics continued and driver air conditioning units continued to be installed in MAN rigids.

The “turning of the sod” ceremony was conducted at the site of the new Tuggeranong Depot on 15 April.

The AEC Regal operated short “mystery tours” from East Row during the school vacation and operated short trips in South Canberra from Albert Hall in conjunction with Heritage Week.

The first use of a Mack articulated on route service was recorded on 15 April when ZIB 703 operated on Route 435 from Belconnen to Barton. Mack artics began operation on Route 333 on 19 April but the ban on the use of the centre door remained.

An experimental “alternative” shelter, for sites where the bulky concrete shelter was too large, was handed over by NCDC in Carruthers Street, Curtin. [It became “a one-off” as the design failed to provide sufficient weather protection for passengers]

Does not the following request sound familiar? On 18 April 1988 the Business Council of Australia called for a dramatic reduction in the subsidy to ACTION as part of a general reduction in Federal Government expenditure.

June

Mack/Renault PR 100.2s 761 – 763 were delivered in June as well as were the PR180.2 articulateds 714-716. The District Manager and Area Controller in Tuggeranong were now accommodated in a temporary building at the Tuggeranong Town Centre terminus in Anketell Street.

A media launch of Network ’88 was held on 24 June and the first 1,000 copies of the new Bus Book were delivered to staff by the printer.

July

Mack/Renault PR 100.2s 764 – 767 were delivered in June as were the PR180.2 articulateds 717 and 718. Leyland National 260 was withdrawn from service.

On 4 July 1988 Network 88 was introduced with all timetables in the Bus Book.

A total of 58 routes were abolished and 37 new routes created. The new network required a considerable increase in the number of drivers and extra buses. To meet the bus shortage (partly resulting from a delay in the delivery of Mack/Renault artics) five buses were hired from DAS on 18 July and were based at Kingston. Also, on 20 July, Mercedes-Benz loaned ACTION a UTA MB 0405 for evaluation.

The ACTION fleet at 31 July 1988 comprised:

53 Leyland Nationals; 150 MAN SL200s; 25 MAN SG192s; 19 Mack Renault PR180.2s; 44 Mack Renault 100.1/2 and 2s; 81 Mercedes-Benz 0305s; 5 Mercedes-Benz 0305G and 59 Volvo B58s: total fleet 436.

How things have changed! ACTION has only a few of the early Mack Renault rigids and most of the Mack Renault artics in the fleet now.

Content author: Ian Cooper (content has been reformatted by ACT Bus)

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