Undertakers - history

Volvo B10M with Carrus body.
GS used this bus in Lerum (formerly the domain of Swebus). Later it was moved to Ale (GDG:s former territory).

Lets draw it quickly. For many years Göteborgs Spårvägar (GS) almost had a monopoly of transit within the city limits. The city also owned Säröbussarna (originally a railroad), operating in the southern parts of town, and Styrsöbolaget ferries in the southern archipelago. The latter company is still around. The suburbs had mostly private bus lines running in the areas they had once claimed as theirs. Once cooperation on tariffs and networks increased, the new routes and bolstered traffic was still assigned to the nearest operator. It was the easiest way to let the companies keep their traditional home turf.

Göteborgs Spårvägar 152.
Göteborgs Spårvägar made an aquisition of Kålleredsbussarna in 2000. This bus was included, and also some more similar.

Some of the smallest companies partly consolidated, in a union called buss i väst (what it sounds like). If they weren't so small and scattered, it should just be a matter of time before they merged for real. I believe however that their needs would be best suited for by the current arrangement, with just cooperation. One could on the other hand easily imagine, that this agility may be payed for by the local staff and management. Being overworked and underpayed, might be what it takes to just keep up with the resources of the multinationals.

Tendering procedures

Swebus 4262.
Swebus vehicle with what was originally a company livery for GS.

Actually it was the public Göteborgs Spårvägar (GS) that started this, by contracting competitors for helping out with some major bus replacement services in fall 1986 and 1987. It was maintained that this should decrease the costs and strains on their own organisation. Soon tenders were also invited for major repears on trams, but more often than not won by the own shops. Sometimes the asked price could be maybe as little as a fifth of the highest foreign bidder. All this geared the city owned company into a better financial shape than ever before. Still some hard setbacks were experienced through the mid 1990:s, when much ground was lost. The company later hit back hard, and rose stronger and bigger than ever. For a while around the turn of the century, GS operated to some extent in 10 different communities. It also made a profit, unlike many private undertakers today.

Undertakers - current scene

Linjebuss 2503, 200, 2501, 2507 and 2514 in Mölndal.
The sad remains of the former Mölndalsbussarna depot. Here with some discarded Linjebuss (Connex/ Veolia) vehicles. GS opened a new depot in 2000, that Keolis brought with them in the next round.

A number of overlapping contracts is in effect at any given time, but even to this day mostly following the old "borders" of the former companies domains. The vast majority of the once smaller bus operators are now gone forever - so much for competition... It is mostly a few big international and national conglomerates that these days is having a presence in Göteborg. But also Göteborgs Spårvägar, in spite of the rather obvious political goal to get rid of publicly owned transit companies. GS has yet again lost a lot the last couple of years, but is still hanging on. One newer knows for how long, though. As opposed to private undertakers it is not permitted for their publicly owned counterparts to put bids outside their core area. This is hampering the strategy to move around vehicles to different locations, to find the optimal mix to meet the requirements for e.g. average vehicle age.

Swebus 851, route 51.
Just like GS outmanouvered Swebus, they in turn made some inroads in Göteborg city. This bus was taken over from GS, and renumbered. Sometimes such vehicles are moved to other cities.


Linjebuss 1012 in GL livery.
This common regional design was applied on vehicles delivered,
or repainted between 1987-2000.

It has always been a motley collection of different colour schemes around Göteborg. The regional transit umbrella organisation GL implemented a common livery in 1987. A hint to the old traditions, was the labels in red letters along the sides, advertising the principal area operated. The companies still had their old charters, and the need to move around vehicles was hardly an issue. The express buses soon needed to make a statement, and was completely painted in their namesake colours between cirka 1998 and some ten years hence. Now only the labels on the outside differs - easier to switch than the complete livery, but also more boring. The tendency in recent time is leaning towards a simplification in livery variation.

Grön express 64.
Green express in the days it was green. This bus is negotiating the curvaceous southern exit from Kungälv, north of Göteborg.

Trams are light blue and creme, commuter trains silver and yellow, while buses comes in a darker shade of blue. The exception is the trunk routes that are similarly coloured as the trams, however the latest deliveries have skipped this altogether. You can learn more details about liveries under the heading LIVERIES on the menu bar above.

Linjebuss/ Veolia 2527 by the terminus in Furulund in August 2008.
västtrafik livery, now by far the most common in a vast area all around metropolitan Göteborg.

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