Road transportation of people and communities has and always will be an integral part of any country's working and social life. As is the case with other global communities, the South African experience has been no different. From the onset the Tram cars in the early mining days of our country to the luxury buses in use today, the mobility of people remains the core ingredient for any dynamic society. The Company was established in 1879.
Motor buses and trams ran together in Port Elizabeth but with the introduction of the Leyland Tital TDI bus in 1928, patrons of the trams became lesser and lesser, and in early 1939 the usage of trams was abolished. The fleet compliment in 1939 was 41 trackless trams, 48 diesel buses and 7 petrol engine buses. The second world was had its negative impact on the Port Elizabeth Tramway Company.
In 1954 the service to New Brighton which was rendered by the South African Railways was taken over by the Company and a new subsidiary known as Bay Passenger Transport Limited was formed and for the first time employing drivers and conductors from the disadvantaged groups.
In 1955 a new depot was built in New Brighton and 34 new buses were bought at 186 500 pounds totaling a fleet of 78 buses serving the New Brighton - City Routes with a six minute frequency throughout the day increasing to one bus a minute during peak times. At the same time a new depot was built in Perl Road, to serve the now Northern areas and Walmer. A total of 36 buses were used to run the service and 116 employees were employed from these areas.
In May 1957 Valeydan's Bus Service was acquired with 14 buses operating in Veeplaas and Mission areas. The fleet of petrol-engine buses were replaced by diesel buses. In December 1990, the end of public transport associated with the Cape Town Group, Tollgate Holdings had come when the latter decided to withdraw from Port Elizabeth. The decision that had to be taken by Port Elizabeth was if they required a bus service. An overwhelmingly positive response led to Commerce and Industry, Financial Institutions and local Authorities creating the necessary backup and Algoa Bus Company started operating on January 1, 1991.
Today the company employs more than 700 people, of which 89% are from previously disadvantaged groups, with approximately 400 buses to serve the communities of Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage. The holding company, E'Zethu, operates as a Section 21 company, meaning any profit made could be invested back into Algoa Bus Company (PTY) Ltd, its employees and therefore indirectly the community.