Department of Infrastructure, State Government of Victoria, Australia.

Bus projects and programs

The State Government has a program to improve and expand the bus network both in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Information on this page


Current initiatives

In Melbourne
  • The innovative SmartBus program will be expanded across Melbourne.
  • The State Government will undertake 16 Bus Service Reviews throughout Melbourne between 2007 and 2010.
  • A total of 400 new Disability Discrimination Act compliant bus shelters will be replaced or upgraded in Melbourne between 2007 and 2009. The 400 shelters are the first of more than 1,000 shelters the Government aims to upgrade over a ten-year period. The majority of the new shelters will be environmentally-friendly using solar power for passenger lighting. The replacement works are part of a 10-year supply and maintenance contract awarded to Adshel Street Furniture relating to shelters and SmartBus totems.
  • The successful Think Tram program will be extended to also provide traffic priority for buses along key routes. The Government will allocate $50 million to extend the program until 2010-11 This will include measures to provide priority for buses at intersections, to segregate buses from other road users as well as improving safety and amenity for passengers. The 2008-09 State Budget includes $37.8 million for the tram and bus priority program.
  • $80 million will be allocated to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit project to significantly upgrade bus services between the City and the suburbs of Doncaster, Doncaster East, Templestowe, Donvale and Warrandyte. It will provide for increased hours of operation, more frequent services particularly during off-peak times, on-road bus priority measures, more park and ride facilities and improved accessibility. The project will start in 2009-10.
  • An extra $650 million in new and improved bus services is being delivered to Melbourne suburbs. Routes will be extended into new suburbs while a large number of existing routes will be upgraded. See Metropolitan bus service improvements.
  • The 2008-09 State Budget allocates $22.5 million for an increase in bus services along the Eastern Freeway to Doncaster. The funding will cover the cost of eight buses to deliver an extra 20 peak services a week.
  • The NightRider late night bus service will be boosted with services to be offered half hourly instead of hourly following funding in the 2008-09 State Budget.
  • A $189 million Bus Replacement Program is under way. It involves replacing 880 buses across Victoria with modern, air-conditioned vehicles that improve passenger comfort and meet the requirements of the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Approximately 220 new buses are introduced each year, about 120 of which are low-floor route buses, and 100 school buses.
See also Bus accessibility.

In regional Victoria
  • The 2007-08 State Budget included $30 million for a four-year program of bus service improvements including for Portland, Colac, Lakes Entrance, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. This in addition to other improvements in urban and inter-town bus services throughout Victoria. See Regional bus service improvements for more details.
  • Stage 2 of the Rural School Bus Safety program began in 2006-07. It will involve upgrading a further 60 school bus interchanges and more than 1,000 school bus stops.
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Completed initiatives

In Melbourne
  • Dozens of new and expanded bus services have been introduced in Melbourne suburbs since 2002-03. See Metropolitan bus service improvements for more details.
  • In addition, a new direct bus route from North Melbourne Train Station to Melbourne University started 3 March 2008. The new service is helping ease congestion on the train network by enabling commuters heading to and from the university to avoid the City Loop. More information is available from Metlink.
  • SmartBus services have been introduced on Blackburn, Springvale, Warrigal and Wellington roads.
  • A 'Park and Ride' facility is providing commuters with easy access to bus services to and from the Melbourne central business district. Located at the corner of the Eastern Freeway and Doncaster Road, Doncaster, the $3.1 million interchange is proving popular with commuters with approximately 2,400 people using the facility each day. See the National Bus Company site for more information.
  • Twenty-nine new bus contracts started on 1 July 2008 following an intensive consultation process with the Bus Association Victoria. The new contracts ensure the expansion of weekend and late-night bus services, the rollout of the SmartBus orbital network and the introduction of new bus routes in growth communities. The contracts will run for 10 years.
In regional Victoria
  • Regional bus services have been improved across Victoria. This includes new services, connections with Regional Fast Rail services, improved services at night and on weekends in major regional centres, and services to help students and young people access tertiary education, jobs and community facilities. See Regional bus service improvements.
  • Stage 1 of the Rural School Bus Safety program delivered 123 new bus interchanges and improvements at more than 600 school bus stops between 1999 and 2004.
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Media releases

7 Jul 2008New bus service to connect Gowanbrae starts soon
24 Jun 2008New contracts to improve Melbourne's buses
23 Jun 2008Bus route 400 improved to service growing community
23 Jun 2008Extra morning peak services for Route 401 to hospitals
20 Jun 2008Western suburbs residents asked to guide bus review
18 Jun 2008Free travel Tuesday on new Ballarat bus services
16 Jun 2008More buses, more often for Belgrave, Gembrook and Fountain Gate
27 May 2008More services more often for bus routes 753 & 754
27 May 2008More buses more often for Glen Iris and Glen Waverley travellers
27 May 2008Extended hours and extra services for bus routes 688, 690 & 755
27 May 2008Extended bus services in Melbourne's east
21 May 2008Weekend bus travel proves popular with Melbourne travellers
20 May 2008More passengers getting onboard Frankston buses
19 May 2008Bus boost for residents of Melbourne's outer north
19 May 2008Bus improvements on routes 892 and 893 in Melbourne's south east
19 May 2008Hundreds more weekly bus services for Craigieburn
8 Apr 2008First pre-pay bus stop a huge success at park and ride
8 Apr 2008Longer hours and more services in Melbourne's north
8 Apr 2008Extended hours for buses to the inner north
5 Apr 2008Folding bikes allowed on trains, trams and buses
4 Apr 2008Extra services extended hours for north west buses
4 Apr 2008Weekend bus services boosted in Melbourne's west
31 Mar 2008Boost for local bus users in Melbourne's east
31 Mar 2008Three Mornington Peninsula bus routes expanded
13 Mar 2008North Melbourne shuttle service a hit with commuters
13 Mar 200825 extra bus services between Frankston and Portsea
6 Mar 2008An extra 70 bus services for Williamstown residents
4 Mar 2008La Trobe Uni bus boost great news for students
3 Mar 2008New shuttle service provides vital link for commuters
21 Feb 2008Review of bus services underway in Casey and Greater Dandenong
20 Feb 2008Review of bus services in Manningham, Monash and Whitehorse
12 Feb 2008Bus improvements for City of Whittlesea
1 Feb 2008Extra bus services from Diamond Creek to Eltham
1 Feb 2008Bus review underway in Wyndham and Hobsons Bay
30 Jan 2008Major boost to Colac bus services
30 Jan 2008Major boost to Portland bus service

See also Bus media releases 1999–2007.

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