Shortly after establishing the passenger transport services, Dr. Richard managed to acquire and establish a charter coach service business as well. Due to the manifold activities in public and charter transport revenues increased continuously, so in 1958 Dr. Richard already owned more than 20 busses which were used nearly around the clock.
In the beginning of the 1950s the first private credit lines became available again. The first used passenger busses could be purchased , and 1951 marked the year in which the first new bus “Gräf und Stift ON 120” was put to service.
The increasingly populated area in and around Vienna, as well as the fact that bus transport was managed economically and efficiently were the main driving factors for rapid growth. In 1965 the main problem was neither a financial one nor one of vehicle availability, but the fact, that there simply were not enough qualified conductors, certified to drive vehicles of the category “D”.
Competitors as well as the Vienna city transport authority suffered from the same problem and thus, in 1966, Dr Richard was the first private enterprise to get a contract with the transport authority in order to establish an alternative bus transport service on tram line 73 and accepting the authority´s tickets on its private Dr. Richard busses.
The Years of Expansion and Diversification
In the middle of the 1950s passengers´ expectations and requirements increased noticeably mostly due to golden years of chartered coach travel caused by such factors as the rapid improvement and reconstruction of the European road and highway network and the steady improvement of food, service, and hotel industries. The quality and comfort of busses had to be improved rapidly as well. No-one was ready to start a long-distance trip without air condition, reclining or sleeping seats, toilet on board, kitchen and stereo system.
In co-operation with Golden Werbegesellschaft KG, Dr. Richard was the first passenger transport enterprise to start advertising on its busses. Today, advertising on busses and vehicles is a relevant contributor to the overall revenue of the group.
Advertisement on busses and coaches
The years of Mergers and Acquisitions
A series of acquisitions of relevant competitors started in the ´70s with the acquisition of Südburg Kraftwagen-Betriebs GesmbH, which represented an increase of 65 busses, 115 employees and 70 million Schillings (5 million Euros) annual turnover. The associated travel agencies in Oberwart, Stegersbach, Güssing, Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Eisenstadt, Neusiedl am See und Wien were purchased by Dr. Richard as well.
Due to a far-sighted and sustainable management, further acquisitions of competing enterprises such as Kolda (Klosterneuburg, 1969), Watzke (Graz, 1983), Bajer Bus (Niederösterreich/Wien, 1981), Albus (Salzburg, 1986) und Salzkraft (Salzburg, 1992) in the decades to come ensured the continuous and rapid growth of the group.
At the same time, Dr. Richard managed to build strategic alliances with a number of enterprises such as Sagmeister in Stegerbach and Kowatsch in Villach. While expanding international transport operations such as Vienna – Prague, Vienna-Sarajevo, Vienna-Belgrade and Vienna-Zagreb, Dr. Richard has also been present in international passenger transport since 1989 by running independent passenger transport enterprises based in Prague and Budapest.