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Emma Snelgrove is the latest in her family to join Tranzit Coachlines, the Masterton based company which operates nationally and has been going for over 90 years. By Katie Farman.

Cleaning buses, making cups of tea and spending afternoons in a variety of part time roles with Tranzit, one of the largest family-owned and operated coach companies in New Zealand, was part and parcel of Emma Snelgrove’s childhood. With her father Keven and Uncle Paul running the fourth generation business and many other members of her family in key roles, it was typical for a young Emma to be found “doing my bit” at the Tranzit depot.

Now, more than 20 years later, Emma has come full circle re-joining the company in sales and marketing and continuing a proud family tradition.

“I pretty much grew up in Tranzit so my childhood memories are entwined with the business. I remember going on school trips and I’d always know the bus driver …one time it was my cousin who picked me up on a school trip. Some of the people have been here for 40 years … once upon a time they babysat me and my brother, now we are colleagues.”

Emma, who grew up in Masterton before moving to Wellington as an eight-year-old, studied marketing and accounting at Victoria University. She then worked in advertising as an account manager in Brisbane for four years before returning to Wellington in November 2016 to take up a sales and marketing co-ordinator’s role at Tranzit. Taking time to learn other aspects of the business, Emma now focuses on marketing and sales – an area she is excited about.

“Tranzit is at a point of tremendous growth over the next 24 months year so my timing to return to the company was fantastic,” she says. “I’ve had a chance to work in a few different areas within the business, but looking forward to the next 12 months I will be driving a lot of the marketing and growing the Group client base.”

She is also looking forward to completing her class 4 license.

“It’s just something I want  to do,” she says “Not only am I upskilling myself and giving myself more flexibility within Tranzit, but I think it makes it easier to understand what our  drivers goes through if you can do it yourself.”

Tranzit’s website has its family history as a focal point. It states that in 1924 Albert Snelgrove launched a fleet of grey buses under the very imaginative name Grey Bus Service. In the early 50’s the colour of his buses changed, so Grey Bus Service became Blue Bus Service. Finally in 1985, as the company began to gain nationwide traction, it became Tranzit Coachlines, and today is one of the largest family-owned and operated coach companies in New Zealand.

Now, in its fourth generation of operation, the company is under the leadership of brothers Keven, Emma’s father, and Paul who have grown the business substantially. Tranzit now employs around 1000 full time and casual staff, operates over 1000 vehicles from Cape Reinga to Bluff; has depots in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Wanganui, New Plymouth and Masterton and when Wairarapa Lifestyle magazine went to print it had just been named the preferred bidder for 60 per cent of the Wellington region’s bus services.

In the past, Tranzit has been the official coach transport provider for Rugby World Cup 2011 and involved in major sporting events including FIFA U-20 2015, Cricket World Cup 2015 and the IRB Junior World Championships. Here in the Wairarapa they also are the transport provider for Toast Martinborough, New Zealand’s premier wine and food festival, and they run day tours for visitors to the wine village of Martinborough, Cape Palliser and Tui Brewery as well as other be-spoke tours. Emma now divides her working week between Wellington and Masterton and enjoys returning to her home town and connecting with family and friends still there. She is also thrilled to be a fourth generation Snelgrove helping continue her family’s legacy.

“This is a family owned business with a proud history in this region and it’s a bus company! It’s really quite remarkable,” she enthuses. “In this day in age, I think that stands for something and in a business context, very important, as so many people have a long connection to us and trust us.”