The early years
Wikströms Busstrafik was founded in 1945 by Hilding Wikström and Bertel Degerlund. The company was then known as Wikström&Degerlund and the first vehicle the company acquired was a truck, which was used to transport timber and sugar beets, among other things, and sometimes also took passengers on the truck bed.
In 1948 the company acquired its first bus called “Skata-Ida”, a combination of bus and truck. On June 10th 1948, the company started scheduled traffic on the route Skata-Bromarv-Hanko. Hilding usually acted as driver. The demand for transport of both people and goods was so big that a second bus with a larger capacity became necessary. A year later, the company managed to obtain a brand new bus, which was not an easy task in those times.
Growth and development
The traffic area expanded in 1950 when the company took over the routes operated by Granholms (later Oravais Trafik) between Ekenäs and Bromarv. The arrangement included three drivers then employed by Granholms, as well as the acquisition of three of their buses.
The demand for passenger and goods transport continued to be strong. In the early 1950’s, the supply of new buses and coaches on the market increased. The fleet acquired many new coaches during the following years. For example, the company bought a new Chevrolet called “Lena” for the Helsinki Olympic games in 1952, and a new Volvo Titan with 150 hp and a Kutter body in 1958.
Hilding Wikström, who had worked as a driver during the second World War, discovered the car-maker Scania. He was impressed by their products, and the company bought its first Scania in 1962. In 1962, the company introduced a new route from Hanko to Turku and back. This route was taken over by Hangö Trafik in 1981.
On 20 March 1973 the company introduced the route Bromarv-Helsinki-Bromarv. This route is still functional, with almost the same timetable as the original.
1991 saw the introduction of an express route between Hanko-Helsinki-Bromarv.
The demand for Charter services increased strongly during the 1980’s and more than half of the company’s turnover already came from charter traffic by the 1990’s.
The family business Wikströms Busstrafik is today a strong operator within the charter traffic business in Länsi-Uusimaa (in the regions south and west from Helsinki). The company is an experienced provider of all kinds of charter traffic, tailored to the customer’s needs. Wikströms Busstrafik today has many important clients also in the Helsinki region.
A family business in three generations
Hilding Wikström and Bertel Degerlund owned equal parts of the company together. Bertel retired on 1 July 1981 and on the same day, Ralf Wikström , Hilding’s son, bought Bertel’s part of the company.
Bus and coach traffic was Hilding’s passion. His son Ralf became managing director of the company in his time, but it didn’t stop Hilding from driving every day. He retired only after he had turned 70, when the 80’s turned to the 90’s. He continued, in the role of part-owner, to actively work for the company until he passed away on 1 March 2008, just before he would have turned 90.
Wikströms Busstrafik has been the official name of the company since 23 December 2008, and the company is owned today by Ralf Wikström and his sons Thomas and Mikael.