Singer Stephen hits the high notes

Yellow Buses’ singing driver Stephen Ballantine, 31, is ioff to India with the famed Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

A bus driver who admits to belting out classics at the wheel when he has no passengers on board is heading to India to sing with the famed Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

Stephen Ballantine, 31, who has driven for Yellow Buses for nine years, is one of the star vocalists in the choir.

The bus company helped enable him to go on the concert tour by changing his rotas so he could rehearse and giving him the time off for the trip.

The tenor will now sing in concerts in Mumbai and Jaipur accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of India.

He will be singing masterpieces by composers including Beethoven, Haydn and Handel.

Stephen is not the first bus driver to find his vocals in his vehicle – legendary 1960s’ crooner Matt Monro drove buses in London before he found fame.

Stephen said: “I started with the Dorset Youth Choir when I was ten and that became the Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus.

“I have been singing with the adult Chorus for some years now and the opportunity to tour India was something too good to miss out on.

“I do sing in my bus when there is no one on it, but passengers might get a bit annoyed if I sang when they were on board.

“I really am grateful to Yellow Buses for helping me out and giving me the necessary leave to take part in the tour.”

Carolyn Date, Chorus Manager, said: “Stephen is a wonderful tenor – and they are hard to find.

“We toured India in 2015 and they have invited us back and we will be performing in two of the great cities.

“To do tours like this requires employers to be helpful and understanding and Yellow Buses have really assisted Stephen.”

Stephen Ballantine, Yellow Buses’ singing driver who is heading to India to sing with the famed Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, with Carolyn Date, the Chorus Manager

Fiona Harwood, from Yellow Buses, said: “We have always supported the arts and have a gallery bus and poetry bus in service.

“We also try and help our staff where we can and are delighted that Stephen is travelling with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.”

Stephen Ballantine hits the high notes

Note to journalists:

For more information, please contact: Andrew Diprose, Director, Deep South Media Ltd, PR consultants to Yellow Buses, on 01202 534487, or Ed Baker on 01202 534487 or 07788 392965.

About Yellow Buses: Yellow Buses operates a fleet of 140 buses and 16 coaches with more than 410 staff.

The company carries just under 15m passengers a year with its vehicles operating nearly five million miles across the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset area.

Yellow Buses is part of RATP Group, the world’s fifth largest public transport provider.


RATP Dev in the United Kingdom and Ireland

The United Kingdom is a strategic market for RATP Dev with revenues in excess of £300 million and a workforce of over 4,500.

RATP Dev’s presence in the United Kingdom comprises the following activities:


  • RATP Dev London, through its subsidiaries London United, London Sovereign and Quality Line:

–        employs 3,400 staff

–        operates more than 1,000 buses under contract to Transport for London (TfL)

–        transports more than 200 million passengers per annum in the British capital


  • Under the Yellow Buses brand, RATP Dev’s subsidiary Bournemouth Transport operates award-winning commercial bus services in and around Bournemouth.  Further de-regulated bus services are provided also by the Bath Bus Company.


  • RATP Dev has significant coach operations, primarily through Epsilon Travel (Surrey) and Selwyns Travel (Cheshire).


  • RATP Dev is a major player in the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour activity.  Following its 2014 acquisition of The Original London Sightseeing Tour, RATP Dev now has operations of this kind in London, as well as Paris and New York.


  • In 2015, RATP Dev launched Slide, an innovative minibus service in Bristol, using digital technology to offer personalised transport to non-bus users on a route and at a time of their choosing via an app.


About RATP Dev

Founded in 2002, RATP Dev operates and maintains urban transportation systems in 14 countries on four continents (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, China, South Korea, the Philippines, and the United States of America). With more than 1.5 billion passengers travelling on its networks every year, RATP Dev demonstrates every day its extensive and renowned expertise in a wide range of mobility services, ranging from rail, regional express rail, tramway, to bus, cable car and sightseeing activities. RATP Dev leverages in France, outside of Paris, and across international markets, the technical expertise and experience of RATP Group, the leader in driverless and tramway operations and operator of the Paris network, one of the largest public transportation networks in the world.


About RATP Group

With nearly 16 million daily passengers worldwide, RATP Group is the fifth largest urban transportation operator in the world. With its 14 metro lines (including two driverless lines), two regional express rail lines, seven tramway lines and 350 bus lines, the multimodal network operated by RATP in the Paris region is the largest in the world to be managed by a single company.


RATP Group can devise, design and implement infrastructure development projects, operate and maintain networks irrespective of the mode of transportation (metro, regional train, tramway and bus) and develop innovative services to promote mobility (including passenger information, remote ticketing, pricing and customer marketing). The automation of the Paris metro’s line 1 completed at the end of 2012 is a world’s first and once again demonstrated RATP Group skill in concluding particularly complex projects.

RATP Group exports its know-how all over the world; in engineering through Systra, its subsidiary jointly owned with SNCF, in operations and maintenance via its wholly-owned RATP Dev subsidiary and in innovative services to promote mobility through its IXXI subsidiary.

RATP Group has a workforce of nearly 60,000 employees worldwide and in 2016 generated revenue of 5.4 billion euros.