2016: Koo Wee Rup – Fountain Gate Xpress

Westernport Coachlines, part of the Dineen Group, have floated a proposal with the local community and PTV to run a privately funded ‘Xpress’ route between Koo Wee and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, stopping at Casey Hospital in Berwick (also providing access to the local TAFE and university).

Then-new Westernport Roadlines BS01HB (M.A.N. 19.320, Irizar “i6 3700”) on rail bus duties at Dandenong (4/9/2015) (Bradley Matthews)

Currently those wishing to travel to Fountain Gate from South Gippsland have access to a weekly Thursday shoppers bus provided by Cleeland Bus Lines originating from Phillip Island, otherwise they must travel via Cranbourne to connect with Route 841 or travel via Pakenham and change again to the hourly Route 926.

The route would operate for an initial three-month trial, with the proposed timetable as follows:

  • Weekdays ex Koo Wee Rup: 0920, 1145 & 1345
  • Weekdays ex Fountain Gate: 1045, 1245 & 1715
  • School Holiday Weekdays ex Koo Wee Rup: 0920, 1145, 1345 & 1615
  • School Holiday Weekdays ex Koo Wee Rup: 1045, 1245, 1500 & 1715
  • Weekends ex Koo Wee Rup: 0920 & 1500
  • Weekends ex Fountain Gate: 1100 & 1600

Journey times appeared to be about 45 mins each way. The timetable is designed to allow transfers to the South Gippsland V/Line services at Koo Wee Rup.

They had hoped to commence the service on 19 December 2016 but objections from other local operators (Ventura and Kingston’s) have delayed the proposal – Kingston’s operating the Pakenham route while Ventura operates Routes 841 and 926, the Cowes V/Line trips and a school bus from Koo Wee Rup to various schools in Berwick and Beaconsfield.