The Public Utility Transport Corporation (PUTCO) was established in 1945 after the dramatic bus strike of 1944. It was run by visionary men like Tom Frith and Jack Barregar until it was renamed PUTCO in the 70’s
Gaetano, Luigi and Albino Carleo started small bus operations out of Wynberg in 1948 and personally invested time and energy in growing the company until they took control of PUTCO in September 1971.
The biggest challenges then were; high diesel and maintenance costs, scarce and expensive spares. Passion, ingenuity, sacrifice and hard work kept the wheels of PUTCO turning. Albino Carleo became General Manager, Managing Director and went on to be Chairman.
PUTCO has been part of the South African history, trading on the Johannesburg stock exchange for over six decades ; surviving the penny fare increase of 1954, the 1976 riots and the upheavals of the 80’s.
We are the only public passenger company previously listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange SA and have grown into the biggest commuter bus operator in the country, operating 1600 buses, employing just over 4 200 people, transporting more than 230 000 commuters daily in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo and traveling over 90 million km per annum.
PUTCO recently entered into a Broad Based Black Economic Empowered (BBBEE) deal affording black people meaningful participation in the transport industry. We are now 42.6% black owned, 11% of which is by black women. This transaction was facilitated by the founding Carleo Enterprise, making employees the main beneficiaries.
PUTCO has been a supporter of small businesses through our procurement policies and practices, more significantly through joint ventures (JV’s), such as Ipelegeng which is a joint venture with Valuader that operates in the Vaal area. Asibemunye is another JV in Lenasia, while Lekoa is a JV between PUTCO, Trans Bus Africa and Valuader.
PUTCO also assisted the department of Public Transport Roads and Works, with the establishment of a contracting model with Gauteng Women in Transport (GWIT) who started out with 5 buses and now have 10 buses. This is the first initiative in the transport industry where women are directly involved in the management and operation of a bus service.
We have indeed entered a new era at PUTCO and as management we are determined to see the meaning of these changes permeating through-out the organisation.
PUTCO is continuously working on improving the quality of service and instiling a customer-centric approach to service provision. We will work closely with all role players including government in finding lasting solutions to transport challenges.