Melbourne Government
Bus Routes
1971 to 1993:
200 – 377
& 600 – 602

Complied by Graeme Cleak
Updated by Craig Halsall

 

This page summarises the bus route histories of services operated by the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) to the end of 1993. From 1 July 1983 these routes became part of The Met, the trading name of the newly formed Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which six years later became part of the Public Transport Corporation (PTC).

In 1993 the Kennett Liberal State Government privatised services operated from the North Fitzroy and Doncaster depots, with the Bosnjak family’s National Bus Company being the successful tenderer, with the contract commencing on 28 December 1993.

On the same date, the Elwood depot was closed; The Met’s Sandringham bus depot was moved within the PTC from the train division to the bus division; and services from the inner west were through-routed Gardenvale and Brighton (over former Melbourne-Brighton Bus Lines routes) creating new cross-city services provided by Footscray depot.

A new entity, Met Bus, was established for the remaining nine routes at Footscray Depot and the sub-depot at Sandringham.

The below summary reflects MMTB, The Met and Met Bus routes across Melbourne up until the end of 1993.

Over time the society intends to present more detailed route summaries for each route from 1971 onwards in a dedicated section of our virtual museum, continuing the story with the countless changes over the following two decades post privatisation. Unlike the abridged versions below, we plan to explore the evolution of service levels where such information is available.

We have already begun this enormous task, initially publishing route histories for 25 routes across Melbourne.

You should find the Melbourne Metropolitan Public Transport Maps from our archives are a great resource to help work out the paths taken by the routes below.

ROUTE 200 CITY – OLYMPIC PARK “DOWNTOWNER”

This was a shoppers car park service, which commenced on 1 December 1980 and was subsidised by the larger Melbourne traders, including Myer. It ceased running after 26 April 1984.

ROUTE 201 BULLEEN – KEW JUNCTION CITY – PORT MELBOURNE GARDEN CITY via Kilby Rd, Johnston St & City Rd

MMTB #614 (AEC Regal 4, Freighter Lawton) of 1956 seen at Port Melbourne in 1976. (Geoff Foster)

An all night bus service between the City and Port Melbourne started in 1936, supplementing the cable tram service which started and finished at ‘traditional’ times except for Sunday mornings. On 4/10/1936 a Sunday morning bus service to Port Melbourne began (this may be the same date as the all night service started).

Full time operation to Port Melbourne occurred from 13 March 1937 with the cable tram closure. The route was extended to Garden City from 3 August 1941, although the all night service to Garden City is recorded as starting 22 July 1941. The night service was cut back to Port Melbourne at the end of the war and it recommenced from 2 January 1950.

Meanwhile, a Sunday morning bus service to Collingwood commenced on 17 November 1937, running over the cable tram route. A full time service replaced the tram route from 15 April 1939 and an extension was made on 29 December 1940 to Kew Junction, taking over part of private bus Route 17 from Webb Brothers. A further extension to North Kew (Belford Rd) was made on 19 January 1941.

These two routes were soon through-routed, with trips from Bulleen continuing through the City to Port Melbourne.

In 1956 the route was allocated a wide range of numbers, depending on the destination on the eastern side of the City with all types of shortworkings being provided for:

  • 1.  Garden City – North Kew (Belford Rd)
  • 2. Port Melbourne – North Kew (Belford Rd)
  • 4. City – North Kew
  • 5. City – Nicholson & Johnston Sts corner (North Fitzroy)
  • 6. City – Collingwood
  • 7. Garden City – Kew (Earl St)
  • 8. Garden City – Kew Junction
  • 9. Garden City – Collingwood
  • 10/11. Garden City – Nicholson & Johnston Streets corner (North Fitzroy)
  • 12. Garden City – City
  • 15.  Garden City – Bulleen

In the early 1960s the various shortworkings were abolished and the whole route became Route 15, whilst the all night service was Route 11. The all night service ceased on 16 November 1968.

The route was extended further east along Kilby Rd, North Kew to Burke Rd from 5 March 1960. Then on 2 July 1961 the whole route from Garden City was simplified as Route 15 and extended onto Bulleen, incorporating part of Box Hill Bus Lines (Withers) Route 143A. Route 16 came into use for trips running City – Bulleen only.

Renumbered in 1971, with westbound services towards Garden City from Bulleen and various shortworking termini numbered Route 201. In the opposite direction, eastbound services from Garden City leading to Bulleen carried Route 203. Inbound trips from various termini in the east terminating in the City operated as Route 203, with eastbound trips from Garden City & Port Melbourne terminating short used the relevant shortworking number, as detailed below.

Public information (timetables & maps) contradicted this, with 201 stated as operating in both directions between Port Melbourne & City and 203 in both directions between Bulleen & City. Only minor mention was made of the through-routing of the two routes.

By August 1988 however timetables finally showed 201 as applying to westbound trips into Garden City, with 203 used for eastbound trips towards Bulleen along the entire corridor. The below shortworkings continued to operate and were each described in the printed timetable.

On 28/12/1993 Routes 201 & 203 and the various shortworkings below (Routes 202, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208 & 209) were aken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 202 CITY (Russell St) – PORT MELBOURNE via City Rd

Number allocated in 1971 to shortworkings of trunk Route 201/203, although by the late 1980s there were no timetabled Port Melbourne services.

ROUTE 203 GARDEN CITY – PORT MELBOURNE CITY – KEW JUNCTION BULLEEN via City Rd, Johnston St & Kilby Rd

MMTB #552 (AEC Regal Mk3, Martin & King) at the Belford Shopping Strip in East Kew in 1978, perhaps waiting to commence a peak shortworking (Douglas Moyle)

Trips operating along the trunk corridor between Bulleen & City via Kilby Rd & Johnston St were renumbered as Route 203 in 1971.

These trips continued to be through-routed onto Garden City as per the former Route 15 arrangement, and in practise trips continuing towards Garden City displayed Route 201. Inbound trips from various termini in the east terminating in the City operated as Route 203, with eastbound trips from Garden City & Port Melbourne terminating short used the relevant shortworking number, as detailed below.

Refer to detailed notes under Route 201 above for a full history of this trunk corridor.

On 28/12/1993 Routes 201 & 203 and the various shortworkings below (Routes 202, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208 & 209) were taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 204 CITY (Flinders St) – KEW JUNCTION NORTH KEW (Burke Rd) via Johnston St & Kilby Rd

Shortworking of the trunk Route 201/203 introduced in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 205 CITY (Flinders St) – KEW JUNCTION NORTH KEW (Belford Rd) via Johnston St & Kilby Rd

Also a shortworking of the trunk Route 201/203. Was Route 4 in the 1956 renumbering. During the late 1980s there were no trips timetabled as ending a Belford Rd.

ROUTE 206 CITY (Flinders St) – KEW JUNCTION KEW (Earl St) via Johnston St

Another shortworking of the trunk Route 201/203, was Route 7 in the 1956 numbering but fell out of use in the Sixties. It was allocated Route 206 in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 208 CITY (Flinders St) – COLLINGWOOD via Johnston St

Yet a further shortworking of the trunk route – formerly Route 6 in the 1956 numbering. Dropped from use In the Sixties, but later allocated Route 206 in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 209 CITY (Flinders St) – NICHOLSON & JOHNSON STs CORNER, NORTH FITZROY

Lastly, this was a shortworking of the trunk route was numbered Routes 10 & 11 in the 1956 numbering, but became disused during the sixties. It was re-emerged as Route 209 in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 215 HIGHPONT WEST SHOPPING CENTRE – DEER PARK WEST

Commenced as a shoppers service on 2/9/1975, following the opening of Highpoint West Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong. Parallels Routes 216 & 220 along different parts of Ballarat Rd.

ROUTE 216 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY – SUNSHINE – DEER PARK WEST via Dynon Rd, South Rd & Ballarat Rd

This extension of Route 217 started on 5 June 1972 to serve the developing outer west. A Saturday evening extension through to Melton (over Sita’s Route 456) was introduced on 18 January 1986.

With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 602 (City – Brighton via Williams Rd) was through-routed into Route 216 & 219, forming Route 216 Deer Park West – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach & 219 Sunshine Park – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach, with both routes operated by Footscray Depot. Saturday services after 16:00 now operated right through from Brighton Beach to Melton, a trip of over 60km!

ROUTE 217 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY – SUNSHINE – DEER PARK via Dynon Rd, South Rd & Ballarat Rd

An MMTB service between Sunshine and Deer Park was introduced from 8 August 1938. It was extended to the Fabrex Building on 25 November 1940 with a ‘supplementary service’ Sunshine to Ardeer added on 9 December 1940. A further extension at Ardeer occurred on 12 May 1941. No details are shown in a March 1942 timetable of first and last trips on the MMTB network so at that stage it presumably ran only industrial trips. |

An extension from Sunshine inward to Footscray via South Rd commenced on 21 November 1948 (as had Sunshine Park trips, see Route 219) and then onto the City via Dynon Rd from 9 November 1952.

It was given route number 17 in 1956 and renumbered Route 217 in 1971. With the extension onto Deer Park West the following year, Route 217 became a shortworking of Route 216.

ROUTE 218 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY via Dynon Rd

Shortworkiings of City – Sunshine – Deer Park were given Route 18 in 1956 and were renumbered as Route 218 in 1971.

ROUTE 219 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY – SUNSHINE – SUNSHINE PARK via Dynon Rd and South Rd

A local service from Sunshine to Sunshine Park commenced 29 July 1945 and was extended to the corner of Wright St and Market St from 9 October 1949.

Trips had continued through to Footscray via South Rd since 21 November 1948 (as had Deer Park trips, see Route 217). Service extension to City via Dynon Rd commenced 9 November 1952.

Route 19 was allocated in 1956 before being renumbered Route 219 in 1971.

A weekend diversion to Sunshine West, to cover private Route 455 began on 19 September 1981.

A further diversion via Sunshine South, over the former private Route 452 dates from 5 October 1992.

With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 602 (City – Brighton via Williams Rd) was through-routed into Route 216 & 219, forming Route 216 Deer Park West – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach & 219 Sunshine Park – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach, with both routes operated by Footscray Depot.

ROUTE 220 CITY (Queen ST) FOOTSCRAY SUNSHINE via Footscray Rd & Ballarat Rd

The MMTB route was started as Footscray – Sunshine via Ballarat Rd on 6 December 1936, which ran over private Route 19A, Ballarat Rd tram to Sunshine.
The extension to the City via Dynon Rd commenced 9 November 1952.

Allocated Route 20 in 1956, around 1958 the section between City and Footscray was alerted to run via New Footscray Rd following the opening of that road. It was later renumbered as Route 220 in 1971.
With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 601 (City – Gardenvale via Orrong Rd) was through-routed into Route 220 to form Sunshine – Footscray – City – Gardenvale, operated by the Footscray Depot.

ROUTE 223 WILLIAMSTOWN RD (YARRAVIILLE) – FOOTSCRAY – HIGHPOINT WEST SHOPPING CENTRE

Bus operation of the local Footscray tram routes commenced on 15 November 1959 when Sunday services were converted to bus running as Footscray – Ballarat Rd (Maidstone) and Footscray – Williamstown Rd (Yarraville).

Then as from 6 February 1960 similar arrangements applied from 1pm on Saturday until last bus in the evening.

Full time operation began in March 1962 when the local services ran as Wiliamstown Rd (Yarraville) – Footscray – Russell St and Footscray – Ballarat Rd.

in 1965 the through routing was varied become Williamstown Rd (Yarraville) – Footscray – Ballarat Rd (Maidstone) and Route 71 was allocated in January 1967, before being renumbered as Route 223 in 1971.

The service was extended to Highpoint City Shopping Centre on 2 September 1975.

From 27/7/1975, Sunday services on Route 223 were through-routed into 357, a nearby Sunday tram replacement bus for Route 57 introduced in November 1961, initially unnumbered. Since 17/11/1968 the 357 service had operated between City & Ascot Vale, not serving the West Maribyrnong terminus. It appears buses changed route number from 223 to 357 (& vise versa) at Highpoint.

The extension of the 357 bus over the 223 was in lieu of the Route 82 tram which didn’t run after 1300 Saturdays or on Sundays. Routes 82 & 223 had been operationally linked since the sixties as a result.

The Route 223 bus later extended onto Moonee Ponds after 1300 Saturdays from January 1981 to provide an service over this section of the Route 82 (Footscray – Moonee Ponds) tram but there was still no service provided between Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds on Sundays.

By the late 1980s a connecting shuttle service was provided along Ascot Vale Rd between Maribyrnong Rd & Moonee Ponds on Sunday afternoons and evenings, connecting with the combined 223/357 service. On Sunday mornings Routes 223 & 357 ran independently of each other, with 223 operating Footscray –  Highpoint –  Moonee Ponds (as per Saturdays after 1300) and 357 services serving the West Maribyrong terminus before lunchtime.

These arraignments continued until 1/8/1993 after which time Sunday tram services were re-introduced on Route 57, while cross-suburban Route 82 resumed operating until midnight Saturdays and 2030 Sundays. Driver-only operation (sans conductors) at quieter times was rolled out across many tram routes during 1993, so there was no longer an efficiency gain to run buses in place of two-man trams, although tram drivers were forced to sell tickets until Metcard was rolled out, slowing trips considerably. Notably, Route 82 became driver-only at all times.

Buses on 223 now ran solely between Highpoint & Wiliamstown Rd, Yarraville at all times.

The Met #243 (M.A.N. SL200, Ansair MK1) has just arrived into Sunshine on a 229 shortworking in 1992. (Peter Kane)

ROUTE 229 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY – SUNSHINE via Dynon Rd & South Rd

This number was given to shortworkings of the Deer Park and Sunshine Park services from January 1975.

ROUTE 231 CITY (Queen St) – FOOTSCRAY via Footscray Rd

Route number allocated to shortworkings from January 1975.

ROUTE 232 CITY (Queen Victoria Market) – NORTH ALTONA via West Gate Bridge

A new express service over the West Gate bridge commenced on 20 November 1978.

From 18 February 1991 service was discontinued from the original North Altona termini at Grieve Pde. The route was diverted to a new park and ride facility near the former Paisley Railway Station travelling via Millera Rd past Altona Gate Shopping Centre.

ROUTE 233 CITY (Queens Bridge) – FISHERMANS BEND via Graham St

A route from Queens Bridge to Fishermans Bend was Ingles St started on 1 October 1940. Route 57 was allocated from 1956 then became Route 233 in 1971.

Around 1963 the route was altered to travel via Graham St due to the extension of the West Gate Freeway.

ROUTE 234 CITY (Queens Bridge) – COODE CANAL via Graham St

This shortworking of Route 233 was introduced from 14 September 1987 although by 1992 no trips were timetabled.

ROUTE 235 CITY (Queens Bridge) – FISHERMANS BEND via Williamstown Rd

First started as Queens Bridge to Coode Canal via Salmon St on 23 May 1936. It was extended to the Commonwealth Airport Corporation factory from 10 June 1937 then onto Fishermans Bend from 21 September 1937.

Another route began on 6 April 1942 described as Queens Bridge to Fishermans Bend via Williamstown Rd. It is unclear how these two services differed as the current route ‘via Williamstown Rd’ also travels via Salmon St. Yet another separate service Princes Bridge to Fishermans Bend via Salmon St commenced on 17 August 1942.

Numbered 59 in 1956 and renumbered Route 235 in 1971. The peak hour service to Princes Bridge ceased around 1980.

On 28/12/1993 Route 235 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 236 CITY (Queens Bridge) – COODE CANAL via Williamstown Rd

This shortworking of Route 235 was numbered as Route 236 from 14 September 1987 although by 1992 no trips were timetabled.

ROUTE 237 CITY (Queens Bridge) – FISHERMANS BEND via Lormier St

Began on 21 July 1941 from Queens Bridge with a separate service from Princes Bridge commencing 3 April 1945.

It was numbered Route 61 in 1956 then became Route 237 in 1971. Peak hour service to Princes Bridge ceased around 1980.

On 28/12/1993 Route 237 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 238 CITY (Queens Bridge) – COODE CANAL via Lorimer St

This is a shortworking of Route 237 which recived this number from 14/9/1987. Like the Route 234 and 236 shortworkings, as of 1992 no trips were timetabled.

ROUTE 246 CLIFTON HILL – ELSTERNWICK via Hoddle St and Punt Rd

Service on this route was introduced on 22 December 1938 from Collingwood to Point Ormond. It was extended north to Clifton Hill from 30 December 1945 and numbered Route 47 in 1956.

It was extended at the southern end to Elsternwick from 23 October 1960 when the Point Ormond tram closed. At this stage the route was renumbered as Route 46. It then became Route 246 in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 247 CLIFTON HILL – POINT ORMOND via Hoddle St and Punt Rd.

Shortworking of Route 246, with the number introduced in October 1975, replicating the original Route 47 (see under Route 246). By the sale to National Bus Company in 1993 no trips were timetabled.

ROUTE 248 CLIFTON HILL – ST KILDA JUNCTION via Hoddle St and Punt Rd.

Another now unused shortworking of Route 246. This number was allocated as Route 48 in 1956, fell out of use during the 1960s and allocated Route 248 in 1971.

ROUTE 251 CITY (Russell St)  – CLIFTON HILL – CRISSANE ST, WEST HEIDELBERG

Shortworking of Route 256 (see below), the route number was introduced in September 1975.

ROUTE 252 CITY (Russell St) – CLIFTON HILL – WEST HEIDELBERG

An MMTB bus service between the City and East Brunswick via North Carlton began on 1/3/1936, replacing the North Carlton cable tram. This service was cut back to North Carlton from 26 October 1940 when the separate MMTB bus service via North Fitzroy begun.

Next developed was an all night service from Northcote (Bastings St) to Heidelberg (Bell St), which started on 16 August 1941 and ran over private Route 134 from Croxton to Heidelberg. The all night service was extended to West Heidelberg from 16 September 1948 but the complete Northcote – West Heidelberg service was withdrawn between May 1950 and 19 November 1951. In 1952 it ran from High St via Bastings St, Victoria Rd, Darebin Rd, Livingston St, Upper Heidelberg Rd and Bell St with some trips connecting with the East Preston via Northcote bus at Bastings St, whilst others ran through to the City.

An extension to the North Carlton service was made on 8 April 1956 to Oriel Rd and Malahony Pde, West Heidelberg and Route 52 was allotted. The all night service was altered to follow the new route. A further extension to Southern Rd began 15 October 1956 and from 16 February 1957 the all night service became all night Route 7 and still ran between Clifton Hill and the City via the East Preston tram route.

The extension to Northland Shopping Centre dates from 4 October 1966 as Route 54, whilst a different branch extension to La Trobe University started on 3 March 1967 as Route 56. The all night service ceased after 16 November 1968.

The West Heidelberg service was renumbered as Route 252 in 1971.

ROUTE 253 CITY (Russell St) – DOUGHARTY RD & WATERDALE RD, WEST HEIDELBERG

This is another shortworking of Route 256, with the number allocated in September 1975.

Enroute to Northland, Metropolitan Transit #818 (Leyland National) pauses by a CBD bundy clock. (Edison Keung‎)

ROUTE 254 CITY (Russell St) – CLIFTON HILL – NORTHLAND

This extension of the West Heidelberg route commenced 4/10/1966 as Route 54 and was renumbered 254 in 1971.

From 20/7/1986 the route was altered to run from Northcote via Victoria Rd, Dundas St, Victoria St, Bell St and Chifley Dr, incorporating the Bell Street Bus Company Route 516 shuttle between Northland and Bell Street.

ROUTE 255 CITY (Russell St) – NORTH CARLTON

Shortworkings of the West Heidelberg route were given this number from September 1975 however were discontinued from 20 July 1986.

ROUTE 256 CITY (Russell St) – CLIFTON HILL – LA TROBE UNIVERSITY

The terminus for the various West Heidelberg routes used to be in Russell Street, at Bourke Street. AEC Regal Mark IV, Freighter Lawton buses, such as #610, were the mainstay of these routes until the late 1970s. (Paul Nicholson)

This extension of the West Heidelberg route commenced 13/6/1967 as Route 56.

Renumbered Route 256 in 1971.

Later extended to La Trobe University Interchange tram route extension opened.

ROUTE 257 CITY (Russell St) – WEST HEIDELBERG (SOUTHERN RD) via Eastern Fwy
ROUTE 258 CITY (Russell ST) – NORTHLAND SHOPPING CENTRE via Eastern Fwy
ROUTE 259 CITY (Russell ST) – LA TROBE UNIVERSITY via Eastern Fwy

These three routes commenced on 3 December 1979 as peak hour commuter services.

Route 257, a morning peak shortworking of the Route 258, was discontinued after 20 July 1986.

On 28/12/1993 Routes 258 & 259 were taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

Laying over in Exhibition Street in 1988 is #818 (Leyland National). Spot the Metropolitan Transit sticker near the rear axle. (Hayden Ramsdale)

ROUTE 260 CITY (Russell St) – DEEP CREEK via Eastern Fwy & George St

Started as a peak-hour route from City to East Doncaster (Blackburn Rd & Andersons Creek Rd) via Thompsons Rd, Manningham Rd and George St on 23/1/1978.

Extended to Deep Creek via Andersons Creek Rd on 14/9/1987.

On 28/12/1993 Route 260 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 261 CITY (Russell St) – TEMPLESTOWE via Eastern Fwy & Thompsons Rd

Peak-hour route commenced on 23/1/1978.

On 28/12/1993 Route 261 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

MMTB Volvo B59 Ansairs #853 and #878 await their departure on PM peak Eastern Freeway services in Russell Street in 1978. (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 262 CITY (Russell St) – NEWMANS RD, TEMPLESTOWE via Eastern Fwy, High St & Templestowe

Began as a peak hour route on 23/1/1978 and closed on 28/2/1992 with a rationalisation of the network in the Doncaster region. Longer length trips to Warrandyte operated as Route 265.

ROUTE 263 CITY (Russell St) – DONVALE via Eastern Fwy, Thompsons Rd, Reynolds Rd & Springvale Rd

This service dates from 1/12/1986, running as City – Deep Creek via Thompsons Rd and Reynolds Rd.

Route 263 was later modified to operate along Springvale Rd to Donvale on 2/3/1992, incorporating the former Route 264 branch introduced 4½ years prior, although travelling in the reverse direction along Springvale Rd.

On 28/12/1993 Route 263 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 264 CITY (Russell St) – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN / JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION DONVALE – MITCHAM via Eastern Fwy, Doncaster Rd & Mitcham Rd.

The route began on 23/1/1978 as City – Donvale via Eastern Fwy and Doncaster Rd. Unlike the other Eastern Freeway corridor commuter routes, Route 264 offered an all day timetable on weekdays by the late 1980s.

On 7/6/1982 a separate Route 266 commenced – this peak hour service followed Route 264 as far as East Doncaster Junction before heading north up Blackburn Rd to East Doncaster (Blackburn Rd & Andersons Creek Rd).

An extension to Park Orchards was added from 17/1/1983 then branch to Donvale North (Springvale Rd and Reynolds Rd) began on 22/6/1987. Another branch to Mitcham North (Mitcham Rd and Springfield Rd) was introduced from 26/10/1987. Cursory there were also two late afternoon trips that extended onto Mitcham Station.

With network changes on 2/3/1992, it became City – Mitcham, with one trip each way still branching to Park Orchards. Route 263 absorbed the Springvale Rd branch but operating in the opposite direction to Route 264 and with fewer trips.

On 28/12/1993 Route 264 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 265 CITY (Russell St) – DEEP CREEK via Eastern Fwy, High St, Templestowe Village & Heidelberg-Warrandyte Rd.

Yet another peak hour commuter express, also introduced on 23/1/1978 operating through to Warrandyte via Eastern Fwy, Thompsons Rd, Manningham Rd, High St, Templestowe Village, Newmans Rd and Heidelberg-Warrandyte Rd. Shortworkings to Newmans Rd, Templestowe displayed Route 262 but were discontinued after 28/2/1992.

Route 265 was modified to exit the Eastern Freeway at Doncaster Rd and then travel via the full length of High St with the March 1992 network changes.

In December 1992 services were truncated to terminate at Deep Creek, with Route 272 becoming the sole Warrandyte freeway express.

On 28/12/1993 Route 265 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 266 CITY (Russell St)  – DONCASTER JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER via Eastern Fwy, Doncaster Rd and Blackburn Rd

Commenced on 7/6/1982 as a further peak hour commuter offering for the handful of stops along Blackburn Rd between Andersons Creek Rd and Doncaster Rd, otherwise supplementing Route 264.

It ceased on 28/2/1992 with the network changes introduced the following week.

ROUTE 267 CITY (Russell St) – DEEP CREEK via Eastern Fwy, Thompsons Rd, King St & Blackburn Rd

Began on 14/9/1987 as a shortworking of the longer Route 272 to Warrandyte to provide a commuter service along King St but ceased on 28/2/1992 with a major series of network changes aimed at simplifying bus services in the Doncaster region.

January 1985 sees Met MAN SL200 Ansair Mk1 #167 and one of its siblings at Doncaster Shoppingtown running Routes 268 & 281 (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 268 DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN – EAST DONCASTER via George St

Shopper service first introduced in 1975. It effectively acted as an offpeak shortworking of Route 260, introduced 3 years later.

On 28/12/1993 Route 268 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 269 BOX HILL – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN – GREENSBOROUGH via Station St, Williamsons Rd & Fitzsimons La

An MMTB service from Doncaster Shoppingtown to East Templestowe began on 18/2/1974.

It was extended to Greensborough on 29/6/1981, over the short-lived Greensborough to Doncaster Shoppingtown link formerly operated by Valley Bus Lines (a subsidiary of Bell Street Bus Company), which ran from December 1969 to 1973 as part of Route 87A and then standalone Route 523.

Route 269 was again extended, this time at the other end, reaching Box Hill via Station St from August 1984.

On 28/12/1993 Route 269 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 270 EAST KEW – DONCASTER JUNCTION & SHOPPINGTOWN – TEMPLESTOWE via Belmore Rd and Thompsons Rd

Commenced as East Kew – Doncaster Shoppingtown via Belmore Rd on 13/6/1972, supplementing 284 to Box Hill and East Doncaster.

From 2/3/1992 Route 270 was extended north-west to Templestowe via Manningham Rd and Thompsons Rd, absorbing Route 271 & part of the limited Route 289.

As of 28/12/1993 Route 270 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 271 DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN – TEMPLESTOWE via Thompsons Rd

A shoppers service from Bulleen to Lower Templestowe started on 20/7/1970 and was soon extended to Doncaster Shoppingtown in May 1971, then to Swanston St, Templestowe from June 1975. It was further extended to Templestowe in September 1978.

A longer version continuing via Station St to Box Hill was opened by The Met on 12 February 1986. Known as Route 289, it only offered a limited timetable at school times along with a return service on Saturdays.

Route 271 & 289 both closed on 28/2/1992, with the former incorporated into an extended Route 270 (East Kew – Doncaster Shoppingtown – Templestowe).

ROUTE 272 (1ST) MITCHAM – RINGWOOD via Loughnan Rd

Commenced at unknown date in the late 1960s as Route 72. It was numbered Route 272 in 1971 and later renumbered Route 303 from June 1980.

ROUTE 272 (2ND) CITY (Russell ST) – WARRANDYTE (Hogan Ave) via Eastern Fwy, King St & Blackburn Rd

A later commuter peak service along King St through to Warrandyte introduced on 14/9/1987 as a longer version of Route 267, which terminated at Deep Creek.

With the December 1992 network revisions, Route 272 became the only commuter express serving Warrandyte, with Route 265 truncated to begin at Deep Creek.

On 28/12/1993 Route 272 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 273 (1ST) RINGWOOD – WARRNADYTE RESERVE

First licensed as Country Route 27 in April 1928 and was operated by A. Murphy in September 1935. It was sold to Ringwood Bus Service (Stewart) in January 1939 and extended to Warrandyte Recreation Reserve in January 1944.

It passed to Warrandyte Transport Service (Withers) in December 1952. It was numbered Route 237A in 1956 and sold to MMTB on 2/7/1961 becoming their Route 73.

Renumbered to Route 273 in 1971 and further renumbered as Route 313 in June 1980, along with the introduction of Route 314.

ROUTE 273 (2ND) DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN – FOREST HILL CHASE SHOPPING CENTRE via Donvale North & Nunawading (Weekdays)
MITCHAM – NUNAWADING via Mitcham Rd & Springvale Rd (Saturdays)

Started on 1/12/1986 as Doncaster Shoppingtown – Donvale via Williamsons Rd, Foote St, Reynolds Rd and Springvale Rd.

Later on, the route was extended south along Springvale Rd to Nunawading and Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre from 2/3/1992, absorbing part of the withdrawn Route 287. Meanwhile, a new Saturday variation of Route 273 operated Nunawading to Mitcham via Springvale Rd and Mitcham Rd over the old Route 287, with no service on the other sections of the route.

On 28/12/1993 Route 273 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 274 RINGWOOD – PARK ORCHARDS

Opened in July 1958 by Warrandyte Transport Service (Withers) as part of Route 237A.

Sold to MMTB on 2/7/1961 becoming Route 74 then renumbered Route 274 in 1971. Further renumbered to Route 315 in June 1980, along with the introduction of Route 316.

ROUTE 275 RINGWOOD – NORTH RINGWOOD

Began as Route 75 on 2/7/1961, the numbering being given to shortworkings of Routes 73 and 74. The route was not in the 1971 renumbering but received Route 275 in July 1972. It was discontinued from July 1978.

ROUTE 276 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER JUNCTION – TEMPLESTOWE – WARRANDYTE (Hogan Ave) via Doncaster Rd & High St

First ran for a short time in early 1925 by S. Anderson. It reopened on 4 May 1925 run by Pioneer Toursit Coaches (Withers). Allocated Country Route 3 in March 1928.

Route sold from Parlorcars (Withers) to J. Simpson in the late 1930s then closed in December 1940.

It was reopened again in 1945 by Withers under Warrandyte Transport Service, numbered Route 236A in 1956 and then sold to MMTB on 2/7/1961 as their Route 76.

It was renumbered Route 276 in 1971 but this particular route was constrained to Sundays as a combination of the Monday to Saturday Routes 277 and 278.

On 28/12/1993 Route 276 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 277 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER – WARRANDYTE (Hogan Ave) via Doncaster Rd

Similar history as for Route 276. With the MMTB takeover became Route 77, then renumbered as Route 277 in 1971.

Shortworkings to East Doncaster and Deep Creek operated as Route 280 until network rationalisations after 29/2/1992. From 1/2/1992, selected Route 277 were renumbered as Route 300 and extended from Warrandyte to Ringwood via Route 314 (which also remained as a shortworking number). Meanwhile, trips ending at East Doncaster Junction (Blackburn Rd & Doncaster Rd) ran as Route 299 between July 1972 and 12 December 1985.

Also see Routes 292 & 297 for trips travelling from Box Hill to East Doncaster & Templestowe along Doncaster Rd, mainly during peak periods, at night and on weekends. Otherwise, passengers would change buses at Doncaster Junction.

On 28/12/1993 Route 277 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 278 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – TEMPLESTOWE – WARRANDYTE (Hogan Ave) via Doncaster Rd & High St

Similar history as for Route 276. With the MMTB takeover became Route 78, then renumbered as Route 278 in 1971.

Shortworkings to Templestowe and Deep Creek operated as Route 279 until 28/2/1992.

On 28/12/1993 Route 278 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

A shiny new #304 (M.A.N. SL200, Ansair Mk2) for The Met at the Russell St terminus before a 279 to Deep Creek in 1989 (Peter Kane)

ROUTE 279 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – TEMPLESTOWE – DEEP CREEK via Doncaster Rd & High St

Direct services between Melbourne and Templestowe were operated as part of the old Route 236A (see 276). With the MMTB takeover in July 1961 shortworkings to Templestowe Post Office via High St were given Route 79.

In 1971 these trips were renumbered as Route 279, by which time services were extended to Newmans Rd, Templestowe. Further extended to Deep Creek from 1/2/1986.

The number was discontinued from 28/2/1992 with such trips now showing Route 278, the number already in use for full-length Warrandyte workings.

ROUTE 280 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER – DEEP CREEK via Doncaster Rd

Direct services between Melbourne and East Doncaster were operated as part of the old route 236A (see 276). With the MMTB takeover in 1961 shortworkings to East Doncaster were given Route 80 and renumbered Route 280 in 1971, following the same path as Route 77 then 277. Meanwhile, trips ending at East Doncaster Junction (Blackburn Rd & Doncaster Rd) ran as Route 299 between July 1972 and 12 December 1985.

Also see Routes 292 & 297 for trips travelling from Box Hill to East Doncaster & Templestowe along Doncaster Rd, mainly during peak periods, at night and on weekends. Otherwise, passengers would change buses at Doncaster Junction.

The route was extended to Deep Creek from 16/2/1987 but then discontinued after 29/2/1992 with these trips now designated as Route 277.

ROUTE 281 CITY (Russell St)  – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION DONVALE – PARK ORCHARDS via Doncaster Rd

The Route 94 City – Donvale service along Doncaster Rd, branching off from existing 77 & 80 at East Doncaster Junction was started by the MMTB on 31 October 1967 over part of the existing Route 82 service between East Doncaster Junction and Mitcham. See relevant histories for Routes 277, 280 & 282 for further details.

Renumbered 294 in 1971 and again as Route 281 in June 1980.

Selected trips were extended onto Park Orchards from 2/3/1992, with the route becoming a shortworking of the new full length 301 City – Ringwood via Kew, Doncaster, Donvale and Park Orchards.

Also related are Routes 292 & 297 for trips travelling from Box Hill to East Doncaster & Templestowe along Doncaster Rd, mainly during peak periods, at night and on weekends. Otherwise, passengers would change buses at Doncaster Junction. See notes below.

On 28/12/1993 Route 281 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 282 MITCHAM STATION – DONVALE – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION via Mitcham Rd

A run from Mitcham to Donvale started in June 1938 operated by Wills & Brockell. It eventually passed to Warrandyte Transport Services (Withers) but then closed in 1951.

It was reopened in September 1952 by C. Young of Mitcham and was later part of Route 207A applied to various Mitcham local services (the remnants of which were eventually acquired by Ventura).

In 1958 the route was numbered 206A and sold to Warrandyte Transport Service (Withers) in October of that year, before being extended to East Doncaster the following month.

Warrandyte Transport Service passed to Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) on 2/7/1961, with Route 206A becoming their Route 82. Trips diverting via Cat Jump Rd in Donvale were given Route 83.

On 31/10/1967 a separate Route 94 City – Donvale service was introduced by MMTB, supplementing Route 82 between East Doncaster Junction and Donvale. This new route avoided the need for Donvale residents transfer to Routes 77 or 80 at East Doncaster Junction to access Doncaster, Kew or City.

On the same date, Route 287 (Box Hill – Blackburn – Nunawading – Donvale) was extended onto Mitcham via Mitcham Rd, again paralleling much of Route 302.

In the May 1971 renumbering, Routes 82, 83, 87 & 94 became Routes 282, 283, 287 and 294 respectively.

In August 1978 the use of Route 283 for trips via Cat Jump Rd was discontinued, with these trips being absorbed as a deviation of Route 282. Meanwhile, MMTB also introduced an Eastern Freeway commuter express service along Doncaster Rd to Donvale known as Route 264.

Further renumbering in June 1980 saw Route 282 become Route 302, while Route 294 became Route 281. Route 302 would ultimately close on 29/2/1992 when routes in Donvale were rationalised, see below.

ROUTE 283 MITCHAM STATION – EAST DONCASTER via Mitcham Rd & Old Warrandyte Rd

When the MMTB takeover of Withers occurred, certain Route 82 trips deviating via Old Warrandyte Rd (Cat Jump Rd timepoint) were given Route 83. In the 1971 renumbering they became Route 283 but in August 1978 the number was discontinued and such trips became a deviation of Route 282, subsequently renumbered as Route 302 in June 1980.

ROUTE 284 EAST KEW (Harp Junction) – BOX HILL via Belmore Rd

Private Route 90A started in May 1936 as East Kew – Box Hill, then was extended in May 1937 to Maroondah Hwy & Middleborough Rd and then onto Springfield Rd & Middleborough Rd in August 1938.

The opposite end went onto North Kew from January 1947 and the following year was operated by A. Glance. April 1952 saw the East Kew to North Kew section deleted except for some school trips. Rouch and Kennedy had now taken over.

At Box Hill North the route was extended to Katrina St in 1962 then sold to the MMTB on 31/12/1967, and it which time it was extended from Katrina St to Doncaster Depot.

In the 1971 renumbering it became Route 284 and went further to Doncaster North (Victoria St & King St) on 29/9/1975 and reached Templestowe on 5/2/1979.

At the opposite end, the route was linked to the City via the Eastern Freeway in peak periods as from 15/8/1983. This extension incorporated former Route 300 City – Box Hill North, a peak hour commuter express along Belmore Rd dating back to 6/5/1968, although strangely was not given a route number until February 1981.

A separate shopper service along Belmore Rd to Doncaster Shoppingtown began on 13/6/1972 as Route 270.

Route changes on 1 March 1992 saw the route split with Route 284 becoming City – East Kew – Box Hill, but the City extension remained a peak only extension. Middleborough Rd, Victoria St and Templestowe became served by Route 285, which also incorporated a new shopper branch to The Pines Shopping Centre before 3pm weekdays.

On 28/12/1993 Route 284 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 285 (1ST) EAST KEW – BOX HILL – KATRINA ST (BOX HILL NORTH) via Belmore Rd and Middleborough Rd

Shortworkings of Route 284 from East Kew to Katrina St Box Hill North were given this number in 1971 but fell out of use from August 1978.

ROUTE 285 (2ND) BOX HILL – EAST DONCASTER (King St & Victoria St) – TEMPESTOWE via Middleborough Rd and Victoria St
BOX HILL – EAST DONCASTER (King St & Victoria St) – THE PINES SHOPPING CENTRE via Middleborough Rd and Victoria St

Route changes on 1 March 1992 saw Route 284 route split. The Belmore Rd section became City – East Kew – Box Hill (City extension peak only). Middleborough Rd, Victoria St and Templestowe became served by Route 285, which also incorporated a new shopper branch to The Pines Shopping Centre before 3pm.

On 28/12/1993 Route 285 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 286 BOX HILL – BLACKBURN – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION THE PINES SHOPPING CENTRE via Blackburn Rd

First recorded in April 1950 as Blackburn to Junction Rd, run by G. Watson. It was extended to Box Hill in 1951, thence at the opposite end to East Doncaster Junction in February 1953. It was sold to W. Hunt in August of that year and again to Box Hill Bus Service (Withers) in June 1956, by which time it was numbered Route 223A.

It passed to MMTB on 2/7/1962 with the sale of Withers, becoming their Route 86. In 1971 it was renumbered Route 286 and extended to East Doncaster (Blackburn Rd & Andersons Creek Rd) from August 1978. Until 1978 Blackburn – East Doncaster Shortworkings operated as Route 88 and later Route 288 (see Route 288).

A further extension to The Pines Shopping Centre commenced 2/3/1992. At the same time, sister Route 288 commenced, branching to Templestowe via King St and Serpells Rd during peak periods, covering part of the discontinued Route 297.

On 28/12/1993 Route 286 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 287 BOX HILL – BLACKBURN – NORTH NUNAWADING NUNAWADING – DONVALE MITCHAM

A route from Box Hill to North Nunawading was started in February 1953 by G. Watson. It was sold to W. Hart in August 1953 then became part of Route 233A. When taken over by Box Hill Transport Service (Withers) in June 1956, it soon received its own route number, Route 251A.

Sold to MMTB on 2/7/1961 becoming their Route 87. It was extended from Donvale Post Office to Mitcham on 31 October 1967, paralleling the majority of Route 82 which continued onto East Doncaster Junction, later known as Route 282 and 302.

Renumbered from Route 87 to Route 287 in 1971.

During the 1980s trips often continued onto Ringwood along Route 303, traversing Loughnan Rd.

Routes 287 and 302 both closed on 29/2/1992 as part of route rationalisations.

A southward extension of 273 from Donvale to Nunawading replaced the Springvale Rd section of Route 287, while sections along Springfield Rd were now covered by a re-routed Route 305 operating to Box Hill and Blackburn instead of travelling south to Forest Hill Chase.

Weekday service was maintained along Mitcham Rd east of Donvale with the introduction of all day services on Route 264 now operating between City, Doncaster Shoppingtown & Mitcham. Meanwhile, a Saturday-only version of Route 273 was introduced which continued to operate Nunawading to Mitcham via Springvale Rd and Mitcham Rd, effectively replicating the eastern part of Route 287.

ROUTE 288 (1ST) BLACKBURN – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER via Blackburn Rd

With the takeover of Wiithers on 21/7/1961, shortworkings of MMTB Route 86 (Box Hill – East Doncaster) became Route 88. Renumbered as Route 288 in 1971, the number was discontinued from August 1978. Full history under Route 286.

ROUTE 288 (2ND) Box HILL – BLACKBURN – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION TEMPLESTOWE via Blackburn Rd

A peak hour variation of Route 286, Route 288 was introduced on 1/3/1992. It travelled via King St, Serpells Rd and Church Rd, replacing Route 297 which had travelled via Doncaster Junction (see 292 history below).

On 28/12/1993 Route 288 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 289 BOX HILL – DONCASTER JUNCTION & SHOPPINGTOWN TEMPLESTOWE via Thompsons Rd

On 12 February 1986, Route 289 was allocated to existing trips on Route 271 (Doncaster Shoppingtown  – Templestowe via Thompsons Rd) that extended to/from Box Hill. These trips had been operating for several years prior.

Route 289 operated to a very limited timetable. Trips into Box Hill included a single morning trip Monday to Saturday plus a Friday night trip ex Bulleen, while there were two departures from Box Hill after school along with a lunchtime Saturday departure. To further complicate the arrangement, the weekday morning trip commenced from East Doncaster and travelled via Serpells Rd, similar to the Route 297 / 296 loop.

The through-trips avoided the need to change buses at either Bulleen (261 & 291) or Doncaster Shoppingtown (271 & various Station St routes).

Route 289 disappeared on 29 February 1992, the same time as 271 was incorporated into an extended 270 (East Kew – Templestowe via Doncaster Junction & Shoppingtown)

Also see Route 296 which ran between Box Hill & Templestowe via Station St, Manningham Rd & High St.

ROUTE 290 BOX HILL – NORTH NUNAWADING via Kerrimuir

A loop service from Box Hill to Lexton Rd commenced around 1950 as part of Route 107A and in 1952 the operator was Rouch & Kennedy.

It September 1962 it was taken over by MMTB and became their Route 90, later being renumbered to 290 in 1971. It was extended onto North Nunawading on 19 September 1983, initially only as a shoppers extension but in 1992 it had incorporated Route 287.

On 28/12/1993 Route 290 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 291 BOX HILL – DONCASTER JUNCTION & SHOPPINGTOWN HEIDELBERG

MMTB #592 (AEC Regal Mk 3, Martin & King) heads along Tram Road, Doncaster, approaching Doncaster Junction running a 291 to Heidelberg. Now preserved by John Phillips. (Collin Hurst collection)

First appeared in a timetable dated 1 October 1943 running via Templestowe and operated by Warrandyte Transport Service (Withers). It was allocated Route 238A in 1954 but renumbered 143A in March 1958.

Sold to the MMTB on 2/7/1961 becoming their Route 91, renumbered 291 in 1971. On 28/12/1993 Route 291 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

Related routes along Station St between Box Hill and Doncaster Junction & Shoppingtown include 269 to Greensborough; 289 to Templestowe via Thompsons Rd; 292 to Deep Creek via East Doncaster; 293 to Doncaster Shoppingtown; 296 to Newmans Rd, Templestowe via High St; and 297 to Templestowe via East Doncaster.

Noted for regular timetabled use of wheelchair-accessible MAN SL200 Mk2 (#300) from 1990 to 1993.

ROUTE 292 BOX HILL – DONCASTER JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER DEEP CREEK

n 1924 Mr Withers began operating Box Hill – East Doncaster. By June 1935 it had been sold to Ventura Motors, which operated it as an extension of the cross-country Warrigal Rd route.

Ventura resold it to Withers (Warrandyte Transport Service) in 1943. By 1948 loop trips were operating Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster – Templestowe – Doncaster Junction – Box Hill.

In 1956 the loop was split into Routes 234A (Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster – Templestowe via Serpells Rd) and 235A (Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – Templestowe via High St) although some through-routing at Templestowe remained.

When the MMTB took over on 2/7/1961, Route 234A was renumbered Route 97, while shortworking trips between Box Hill & East Doncaster became known as Route 92.

Route 92 fell out of use during the late 1960s with a reduction in these particular journeys, with through passengers required to interchange at Doncaster Junction, along it is shown on early 1970s public transport maps as Route 292.

Route 97 continued to operate a limited timetable, and became Route 297 in 1971.

In 1980 Route 292 (Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster) appeared following the introduction of a limited number of shortworkings, mainly at peak times and weekends.

During the 1980s, Route 97 & 297 trips mainly operated from East Doncaster to Templestowe via Serpells Rd, continuing onto Box Hill via Route 96 / 296, or vice versa. There was a single trip from Box Hill to Templestowe after school along with a complete loop from Box Hill along Routes 297 & 296 early on Saturday mornings.

29 February 1992 saw the elimination of last remains of Route 297. It was replaced somewhat by Route 288 which travelled Box Hill to Templestowe via Blackburn Station and Blackburn Rd instead of via Doncaster Junction, but continued to serve the Serpells Rd catchment.

Shortworking Route 292 trips continued to operate, but were now limited to Saturday evenings and Sundays, with select trips continuing to Deep Creek from 1/3/1992. Route 292 was still operating at the time of the National Bus Company (Bosnjak) takeover on 28/12/1993.

ROUTE 293 BOX HILL – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN

Shortworkings of MMTB services operating from Box Hill along Station St and terminating at Doncaster Junction were given Route 93 with the 2/7/1961 takeover of Withers.

The number fell out of use during the late 1960s but in June 1975 it was reinstated as Route 293 and from September 1979 was extended to incorporate those journeys terminating at the adjacent Doncaster Shoppingtown. Use of the number was discontinued in December 1992.

ROUTE 294 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION DONVALE – PARK ORCHARDS via Doncaster Rd

The Route 94 City – Donvale service along Doncaster Rd, branching off from existing 77 & 80 at East Doncaster Junction was started by the MMTB on 31 October 1967 over part of the existing Route 82 service between East Doncaster Junction and Mitcham.

Renumbered 294 in 1971 and again as Route 281 in June 1980. Refer to Route 281 for detailed history. See Route 299 for notes regarding East Doncaster Junction shortworkings.

Further related is Routes 292 & 297 covering trips travelling from Box Hill to East Doncaster & Templestowe along Doncaster Rd, mainly during peak periods, at night and on weekends. Otherwise, passengers would change buses at Doncaster Junction.

ROUTE 296 BOX HILL – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION – NEWMANS RD, TEMPLESTOWE via High St

A route from Box Hill to Templestowe was commenced in 1932 by Withers but by June 1935 had been sold to Ventura Motors. It returned to Withers’ Warrandyte Transport in 1943. By 1948 loop trips operating Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster – Templestowe – Doncaster Junction – Box Hill were introduced.

In 1956 the loop was split into Routes 234A (Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – East Doncaster – Templestowe via Serpells Rd) and 235A (Box Hill – Doncaster Junction – Templestowe via High St).

Upon the sale of Withers’ Warrandyte Transport to the MMTB on 2/7/1961 Route 235A via High St became Route 96 and Route 234A via East Doncaster & Serpells Rd became Route 97. East Doncaster shortworkings gained the numnber 92. Later renumbered as Routes 296 & 297 in 1971.

Selected trips on Route 296 were extended to Newmans Rd, Templestowe from 14 September 1987, while others remained through-routed with Route 297 from East Doncaster.

Following the closure of Route 297 on 29 February 1992, trips through-routing to/from East Doncaster was altered to begin from Blackburn Rd and Serpells Rd and traverse Blackburn Rd and Heidelberg-Warrandyte Rd to Newmans Rd, Templestowe.

Route 296 was sold to National Bus Company (Bosnjak) on 28/12/1993.

ROUTE 297 BOX HILL – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION SERPELLS RD, TEMPLESTOWE

Refer to history of Route 292 above

ROUTE 299 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION

Shortworkings of the trunk City via Kew Junction route operated by the MMTB were given this number in July 1972 but its use was discontinued from 12 December 1985.

See Routes 276, 277, 280, 281 & 294 for further notes.

ROUTE 300 (1ST) CITY (Russell St) – BOX HILL NORTH via Eastern Freeway & Belmore Rd

Initially an unnumbered single trip in each direction during the commuter peaks commenced on 6/5/1968 and eventually allocated Route 300 in February 1981. It was then closed on 15/8/1983 when peak trips on Route 284 from Box Hill to East Kew were extended into the City.

ROUTE 300 (2ND) CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION – EAST DONCASTER – WARRANDYTE – WARRANWOOD – RINGWOOD via Doncaster Rd

The Met #283 MAN SL200 Ansair Mk2 heads for Ringwood on Route 300 in the early 1990s, passing Parkwood Secondary College on Tortice Dr, North Ringwood (Geoff Foster)

Commenced on 2/3/1992 as combination of the previously separate Route 277 (City – Warrandyte via Kew Junction) & Route 314 (Warrandyte Reserve – Ringwood via Warranwood) – see detailedR history under both routes. A sister version, Route 301, travelled to Ringwood via Donvale and Park Orchards.

On 28/12/1993 Route 300 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 301 CITY (Russell St) – KEW JUNCTION – DONCASTER SHOPPINGTOWN & JUNCTION EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION DONVALE – PARK ORCHARDS – RINGWOOD via Doncaster Rd

Commenced on 2/3/1992 as a combination of the previously separate Route 281 (City – Donvale – Park Orchards via Kew Junction) & parts of R – see detailed history under both routes. A sister version, Route 300, travelled to Ringwood via Warrandyte and Warranwood.

On 28/12/1993 Route 301 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 302 MITCHAM – DONVALE – EAST DONCASTER JUNCTION via Mitcham Rd & Doncaster Rd

Renumbered from Route 282 in June 1980 – see detailed history under Route 282 and the parallel Route 287 service between Donvale and Mitcham.

The service closed on 29/2/1992 when routes in Donvale were rationalised – the route was effectively replaced on weekdays by an extension of Route 264 (City – Micham via Eastern Frewway and Doncaster Rd). A variation of Route 273, operating between Nunawading and Mitcham, covered Mitcham Rd on Saturdays.

ROUTE 303 MITCHAM – RINGWOOD via Loughnan Rd

Route 272 was renumbered as Route 303 in June 1980. A longer length service known as Route 305 was introduced along Loughnan Rd on 26/10/1987, continuing onto Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre via Springfield Rd and Nunawading.

Trips on Route 303 were often through-routed with 287 at Mitcham, reaching Box Hill along an indirect path via Donvale, Nunawading, North Nunwading and Blackburn.

The route closed on 29/2/1992 as part of major route restructures across the Doncaster and Ringwood area, with parallel Route 305 rerouted to travel west to Blackburn & Box Hill instead of Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre.

ROUTE 304 RINGWOOD – RINGWOOD NORTH (Oban Rd & Athelstane Dr)

A local route introduced on 26/10/1987 to serve newer parts of Ringwood North serving Cormistom Rd and Athelstane Dr, beyond the reach of existing routes. It closed on 29/2/1992 part of major route restructures across the Doncaster and Ringwood area, with most trips Route 301 (City – Kew Junction – Doncaster Junction – Donvale – Park Orchards – Ringwood) and Route 315 (Donvale – Park Orchards – Ringwood) now deviating via Cormistom Rd and Athelstane Dr.

One of only a dozen repaints to receive the ’90s Met logo, #158 (M.A.N. SL200, Ansair Mk1) is seen running a 305 to Blackburn (Andrew Potts)

ROUTE 305 BOX HILL – BLACKBURN – MITCHAM – RINGWOOD via North Nunawading & Ringwood North

Opened on 26/10/1987 as Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre – Nunawading – Mitcham – Ringwood, travelling along Springfield Rd, North Nunawading and Loughnan Rd, Ringwood North.

The Nunwading – Forest Hill section saw government buses extend south of the Belgrave/Lilydale Line for the first time.

From 1/3/1992 it was alerted to commence at Blackburn instead of Forest Hill Chase, with weekday inter-peak trips extending to/from Box Hill via Whitehorse Rd. This change replaced parts of Route 287 (Box Hill – Blackburn – North Nunawading – Nunawading – Donvale –  Mitcham). The Springvale Road sections of Routes 287 & 305 were now covered by Route 273, which was extended south from Donvale to Forest Hill Chase via Nunawading.

On 28/12/1993 Route 305 was taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak).

ROUTE 313 RINGWOOD – WARRANDYTE RESERVE via Warrandyte Rd
ROUTE 314 RINGWOOD – WARRANDYTE RESERVE via Wonga Rd & Tortice Dr
ROUTE 317 RINGWOOD – WARRANDYTE RESERVE via Wonga Rd, Oban Rd & Warrandyte Rd

Route 273 (Ringwood – Warrandyte Reserve) was renumbered in June 1980 to Route 313 – see history above. At the same time, MMTB introduced Route 314, which followed a similar route but deviated via Wonga Rd and Oban Rd in Ringwood North.

From 29/10/1984 Routes 314 to Warrandyte & 315 to Park Orchards were both rerouted along Wonga Rd and Tortice Dr to serve newer parts of Ringwood North. Warrandyte trips that continued to serve Wonga Rd, Oban Rd and Warrandyte Rd were allocated Route 317, while those heading to Park Orchards now showed Route 318.

A complicated array of six routes now operated through Ringwood North based on path and destination, with a seventh variant, Route 304 (Ringwood – Ringwood North) added on 26/10/1987. Furthermore, passengers had to check the timetable carefully to determine which trips deviated via Ringwood St and Eastland Shopping Centre.

Route restructures in the Doncaster & Ringwood areas on 1/3/1992 saw Routes 313 & 317 abolished, while Route 314 was supplemented by Route 300 continuing via the City via East Doncaster, Doncaster Junction and Kew Junction, as an extension of the existing Route 277 service.

ROUTE 315 RINGWOOD – PARK ORCHARDS – DONVALE via Warrandyte Rd
ROUTE 316 RINGWOOD – PARK ORCHARDS – MITCHAM via Wonga Rd & Tortice Dr
ROUTE 318 RINGWOOD – PARK ORCHARDS – MITCHAM via Wonga Rd & Oban Rd

Schoolboys clamber aboard MMTB #513 (AEC Regal Mk3, Comeng) on Mitcham Rd, Mitcham in 1980 shortly before withdrawal (David Oaten collection)

Route 274 (Ringwood – Park Orchards) was renumbered as Route 315 in June 1980 – see history above. At the same time, MMTB introduced Route 316, which followed a similar route but deviated via Wonga Rd and Oban Rd in Ringwood North.

Interpeak trips on both routes were extended onto Mitcham effective 17/1/1983.

From 29/10/1984 Routes 314 to Warrandyte & 315 to Park Orchards were both rerouted along Wonga Rd and Tortice Dr to serve newer parts of Ringwood North. Warrandyte trips that continued to serve Wonga Rd, Oban Rd and Warrandyte Rd were allocated Route 317, while those heading to Park Orchards now showed Route 318.

A complicated array of six routes now operated through Ringwood North based on path and destination, with a seventh variant, Route 304 (Ringwood – Ringwood North) added on 26/10/1987. Furthermore, passengers had to check the timetable carefully to determine which trips deviated via Ringwood St and Eastland Shopping Centre.

Route restructures in the Doncaster & Ringwood areas on 1/3/1992 saw Routes 316 & 318 abolished while the terminus of Route 315 changed to Donvale and all trips reverted to travelling directly along Warrandyte Rd. This occurred in conjunction with the introduction of parallel Route 301 continuing to the City via Doncaster Rd, Doncaster Junction & Kew Junction, effectively an eastward extension of the City – Donvale Route 281.

Routes 301 & 315 were both taken over by National Bus Company (Bosnjak) on 29/12/1993.

ROUTE 319 NORTH COBURG TRAM TERMINUS – UPFIELD via Sydney Rd

This began an unnumbered service on 23/5/1965 as North Coburg Tram Terminus – Gowrie Station which acted as a replacement to the rail service on Sunday evenings. It was extended to Upfield on 8/1/1967. It was an interesting situation of an MMTB bus replacing a Victorian Railways train line but made sense as MMTB ran the parallel Route 19 for stations in suburbs such as Brunswick and Coburg.

From 6/6/1971 it became a full time Sunday service, with the train service withdrawn. A decade later on 5/10/1981 it began running Monday to Saturday evenings with further rationalisation removing Upfield Line train services after 19:00 each night.

A route number was finally introduced on 11/3/1987.

ROUTE 357 CITY (Flinders St) – WEST MARIBYRNONG via Newmarket & Ascot Vale

An unnumbered Sunday tram replacement service was introduced along Route 57 on 19/11/1961. From 17/11/1968 the service became City – Ascot Vale.

From 27/7/1975 these trips were extended to Wiliamstown Rd Yarraville over Route 223, incorporating parts of the Route 82 tram which didn’t run on Saturdays after 1300 or on Sundays. It appears buses changed route number from 357 to 223 (& vise versa) at Highpoint.

The Route 223 bus later extended onto Moonee Ponds after 1300 Saturdays from January 1981 to provide an service over this section of the Route 82 (Footscray – Moonee Ponds) tram but there was still no service provided between Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds on Sundays.

By the late 1980s a connecting shuttle service was provided along Ascot Vale Rd between Maribyrnong Rd & Moonee Ponds on Sunday afternoons and evenings, connecting with the combined 223/357 service. On Sunday mornings Routes 223 & 357 ran independently of each other, with 223 operating Footscray –  Highpoint –  Moonee Ponds (as per Saturdays after 1300) and 357 services serving the West Maribyrong terminus before lunchtime.

These arraignments continued until 1/8/1993 after which time Sunday tram services were re-introduced on Route 57, while cross-suburban Route 82 resumed operating until midnight Saturdays and 2030 Sundays. Driver-only operation (sans conductors) at quieter times was rolled out across many tram routes during 1993, so there was no longer an efficiency gain to run buses in place of two-man trams, although tram drivers were forced to sell tickets until Metcard was rolled out, slowing trips considerably. Notably, Route 82 became driver-only at all times.

Buses on 223 now ran solely between Highpoint & Wiliamstown Rd, Yarraville at all times.

ROUTE 377 CITY (Princes’ Bridge)  – EAST MALVERN via Prahran, Balaclava & Caulfield

An unnumbered City – Prahran Sunday tram replacement service started on 15/11/1959 covering the Route 77 tram along Swan St and Chapel St. From 19/11/1961 it was extended along Balaclava Rd to East Malvern. It was soon numbered Route 377, highly appropriate as it traversed parts of both Routes 3 & 77!

On 1/11/1986 the Route 77 tram was discontinued altogether although strangely the Sunday bus continued to traverse Chapel St rather than St Kilda Rd. Affected City passengers along Chapel & Church Streets could either make use of the various east-west tram routes, or alternatively interchange to the Route 70 tram at Swan St, or trains at nearby East Richmond.

Sunday tram services along Route 3 were restored on 1/8/1993, with 377 discontinued. As noted above, driver-only operation (sans conductors) at quieter times was rolled out across many tram routes during 1993, so there was no longer an efficiency gain to run buses in place of two-man trams.

ROUTE 600 ST KILDA – BRIGHTON BEACH

Commenced 1/7/1957 as 140A St Kilda – Brighton Beach by St. Kilda- Brighton B.L. part of Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service. The service was to cover the closure of the Elwood Depot – Middle Brighton part of the Railway trams. The bus route ran via Marine Parade and Ormond Esplanade to avoid duplicating the remaining tramway service. As the outer end from Middle Brighton to Brighton Beach had been without trams since 1/1/1957, the traffic there had gone, and the bus service soon cut back to Middle Brighton on 18/8/1957. The run was sold out to Melbourne Brighton Bus Line on 1/9/58, apparently because of some Government intervention and MBBL continued the name St Kilda- Brighton Bus Line.

With final closure of the Railway Tram on 28/2/1959, route 140A was altered to operate via the complete tram route.

The route was renumbered 600 in 1971, and was taken over by the Metropolitan Transit Authority on 14/4/1985 as pert of their purchase of Melbourne Brighton Bus Lines.

From 29/10/1989 the route was extended along New Street from Middle Brighton Beach to Brighton Beach Station.

With the closure of the Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993 Route 600 was extended from Brighton Beach to Southland, absorbing the former Victorian Railways 901 service between Sandringham, Black Rock, Beaumaris and Southland. Sandringham Depot assumed operation of this longer route traversing several southern bayside suburbs.

ROUTE 601 CITY (Swanston St) – NORTH RD, GARDENVALE via Orrong Rd

One of the original runs, it was given the old number 4 on 12/8/1924, being operated by Trak Buses. In the 1925 licensing it earned the title of route 1, and for a year it was multiple operated. Apparently it was cut back during World War II and was restored to the City in 10/1945 and for a time from 4/1946 extended on Sunday afternoons to Brighton Cemetery.

In 1952 the proprietors were L. Page, G. Cianciarulo, J & A Silverman, Glance & Smith and in 1954 they formed themselves into Melbourne Brighton Bus Line, to give a more united approach to retain the parallel routing with trams along St Kilda Rd and Swanston St, City.

Renumbered 601 in 1971 and taken over on 14/4/1985 by the MTA.

On 29/10/1989, Route 601 was alerted to travel up Queen St rather than the long-standing Swanston St path.

With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 601 was through-routed into Route 220 to form Sunshine – Footscray – City – Gardenvale, operated by the Footscray Depot.

ROUTE 602 CITY (Swanston St) – DENDY ST, BRIGHTON & MIDDLE BRIGHTON BEACH via Williams Rd & Hotham St

Another run of 1925 (City – Middle Brighton Beach) was allocated Route 2, and in 1927 was sold from Melbourne Suburban Buses to L. Page. It was gradually multiple operated and in 1952 they were P & F May, R & C May, Locco, L. Page, W. Cleeland and T. Bell. It too was shortened to a tram feeder during W.W. II and it was fully restored in 10/1945.

When the independent operators formed into Melbourne Brighton B.L. in 7/1954, they added G. Cianciarulo, Glance, J & A Silverman and S. Dodds, whilst Locco had gone. In 1971 the route was renumbered 602, and from 26/7/1982 trips alternated between Middle Brighton Beach and the New St & Dendy St roundabout.

On 14/4/1985 the route was taken over by the MTA.

On 29/10/1989, Route 601 was alerted to travel up Queen St rather than the long-standing Swanston St path.

With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 602 was through-routed into Route 216 & 219 at the City end, forming Route 216 Deer Park West – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach & 219 Sunshine Park – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach, with both routes operated by Footscray Depot. Saturday services after 16:00 operated right through from Brighton Beach to Melton, a journey of over 60km!