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Transporting school children in the safest, most efficient and amicable way possible.
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Our Company
Kids on Bus

The M.L. Bradley Fleet

Child Check-Mate SystemAt M. L. Bradley Ltd., safety is first and foremost and as a result, we emphasize preventive maintenance in all of our vehicles. We are extremely proud of our Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration record with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. Richard Desjardins, head mechanic since 1991, operates a first class garage with fellow Class A bus truck mechanics, Eric St. Denis and Michel Paquette. All of our maintenance staff take pride in the fleet and are diligent in ensuring that inspections are completed safely and efficiently. In fact, we have added inspections above and beyond the Ministry of Transportation guidelines. Our proactive maintenance programs have proven to help reduce vehicle downtime and improve reliability.

Child Check-Mate SystemWe also have installed additional optional safety equipment to our fleet. All of our buses are equipped with "Child Check-Mate Systems." CCMS was the brain child of co-owner, Gord Both to act as a reminder to drivers to check their vehicles for sleeping children. CCMS was created with input from M.L. Bradley drivers for drivers. The system is designed to remind the driver to search their vehicle at the end of each route with added assurance that no child is left behind.

Our vehicles are equipped with GPS systems which, in addition to many other benefits, allows us to monitor vehicle routes. Administration is able to identify immediately if a bus has been to a stop or is approaching their destination. Additionally, if a bus is in distress, we are able to locate its position right away.

Strong Roots

In the early 1940's, vehicles were few and far between in the village of Navan. In order for teenagers to pursue a secondary school education, they had to be transported to school in Ottawa. From 1946 to 1948, Lorne Bradley attended high school at Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa. Initially, he drove his family's 1941 Dodge car to school with five other students. However, that left no car at home and no vehicle for the family grocery business.

Founder, Lorne BradleyLorne decided to approach Ed Inglis who, at that time, was providing the first public transit in the former Cumberland Township. Ed was driving an old 42 Ford station wagon daily through Navan transporting workers to and from Ottawa and Lorne thought that perhaps Ed might have another wagon to use. A young teenager, Lorne visited Ed with a plan. He would drive one of his wagons to school and Ed could charge a fee to the other kids requiring transportation. Ed agreed but warned Lorne that he'd "never make a living bringing kids to school."

Ed subsequently started Capital Coach Lines which later became Laidlaw. Little did both men realize the irony of their initial conversation nor did they expect the success that both would eventually obtain.

Lorne's career transporting students ended after high school and began in again in 1965 when Lorne tendered 2 routes with the Cumberland township school boards and was awarded the contracts but had neither drivers nor buses.

Morris Lorne Bradley founded M.L. Bradley Ltd. and the wheels began turning with Lorne, Lorne's father Morris, and long time employee Ted Dashney taking turns behind the wheel. Ed Inglis came to Lorne's rescue selling him two vehicles from Capital Coach.

In 1975, development started to expand in the east and four more vehicles were purchased. The business continued to grow with the next expansion year being 1986 when, in August, Lorne was asked to take on eight new runs. What a challenge; eight new runs with no buses and no drivers, it was just like 1965. A sign was put up in the grocery store saying "Drivers wanted-will train." There were 12 to 15 applications received and enough people were trained and certified for September. Some of those drivers are still enjoying driving for M.L. Bradley Ltd. today.

In 1990, with 35-40 buses running, M.L. Bradley Ltd. celebrated 25 years of bussing. Up until this time, the buses and a milk transportation business had been run out of the back of the family's local grocery store, J. T. Bradley and Sons. Plans began to build Lorne's dream, his own depot and office building, on Frank Kenny Road in Navan. The same year Lorne borrowed an idea from a fellow school bus operator in the St. Catherine's area and M.L. Bradley hosted the initial "First Time Rider" program in the new facility in August of 1991. The idea that kindergarten children be offered an opportunity to familiarize themselves in the company of their parents with a school bus and to learn some safety rules was a success. In fact, school officials in attendance that day were so impressed by the concept, that they adopted the program for all school boards in the Ottawa Carleton area. Eighteen years later, the program continues with little change, but is partnered with all area school bus operators.

Tragically, Lorne was never able to realize his dream of carrying on business in his new facility as he became terminally ill and passed away on December 10, 1991. However, his legacy continues with his wife Joyce, son in law Gordon and daughter Kathleen continuing the tradition of a family operated business. Today the company operates 70 vehicles transporting children to schools in the Ottawa Carleton district.