Melbourne Private
Bus Routes
1971 to 1990:
400 – 499

Complied by Graeme Cleak
Updated by Craig Halsall and Tony Willman

New in 1989, Tullamarine #14 (Mercedes Benz OH1418, Newnham) at Moonee Ponds in 1992 on a 478 service to Jetport, which despite TBL’s best efforts, was a term that never caught on colloquially. (Peter Kane)

The early history of Motor Omnibus Routes in Melbourne is somewhat cloudy, but it appears that Returned Servicemen from World War I (1914 – 1918), who had gained knowledge of ‘heavy’ motor vehicles, seized upon the opportunity to develop this new form of public transport. As there was no provision in the then legislation for motorbuses, promoters merely ran where and where they wished, often in competition with the cable and electric tramway systems.

The Motor Omnibus Act 1924 was to regulate this form of transport, with licensing covering vehicles seating eight or more pasengers. Routes that passed within a radius of three miles of the Melbourne GPO were numbered in a series beginning at No. 1. Routes outside this radius, but within 8 miles of the Melbourne GPO, started at 1A. On 28/1/1925 Routes 1 to 13 and 1A to 36A came into being.

Responsibility for the administration was placed with the Melbourne City Council and the Public Works Dept. through the “Motor Omnibus Advisory Committee.” The MOAC particularly set the levels for service and determined the routes to be followed.

In March 1928 licensing of Country Routes began, this incorporated the growing number of services beyond an eight mile radius of Melbourne. The Transport Regulation Board (TRB) was created in 1933 and took responsibility for these Country Services.

Sita #67 (later #85) (Volvo B10M, Volgren) new 10/1986 is seen 11/1986 at the intersection of LaTrobe St & Victoria Pde on the CBD fringe (Geoff Foster)

The role of TRB was widened from 1/7/1953 to take over the Metropolitan Routes, then later during the mid 1950s, Outer Suburban Routes were replaced into a further series beginning at 200A.

A complete renumbering of Metropolitan Bus Routes occurred in 1971, initially based on geographical considerations:

  • 200 to 299: Government Bus Routes in Melbourne’s inner west and north-east
  • 300 to 399: Government Bus Routes in Melbourne’s outer east
  • 400 to 499: Private Bus Routes in Melbourne’s west and north-west
  • 500 to 599: Private Bus Routes in Melbourne’s north and north-east
  • 600 to 699: Private Bus Routes in Melbourne’s east and south-east bayside suburbs
  • 700 to 799: Private Bus Routes in Melbourne’s east and outer south-east bayside suburbs
  • 800 to 899: Private Bus Routes in Melbourne’s south-east
  • 900 to 903: Victorian Railways Bus Routes

Deveson’s B.S #7 (Bedford SB5, Comair) of 1964 is seen in 1976-7 heading for Essendon from Airport West (Geoff Foster)

Routes across the east and south-east were somewhat divided up by operator (e.g. 700-series for Ventura & 800-series for Grenda’s) – at several major hubs including Chadstone Shopping Centre, Oakleigh, Box Hill, Glen Waverley, Knox City, Mentone and Frankston it was common for route numbers across two or three different series to meet.

On 1/7/1983 all control of Metropolitan Routes passed to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (Tram and Bus division) with vehicle licensing being performed by the Road Traffic Authority.

Then on 1/7/1989 the Public Transport Corporation was formed with the merger of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and State Transit Authority.

The below list documents the route numbers in use from 1971 to 1990, with reference to their history as far back as 1925 under the former route number systems. During 1991 the ALP state government, led by Joan Kirner, undertook a program of widespread rationalisation of the bus network, including the renumbering and through-routing of numerous services across the south-eastern suburbs.

At Aberfeldie, Ryan’s #12 (Leyland Leopard, Cheetham & Borwick), new in late 1972 (Geoff Foster)

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 past 25 years, from the 1991 cuts onwards. 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.

 

 

The original 400 served North Wharf and Victoria Dock (today’s Docklands when they were still working wharves). Victoria Dock Bus Co HWC 163 was a 1963 Bedford SB3, Comair, seen in the gateway of the North Melbourne depot. (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 400 CITY (FLINDERS ST) – VICTORIA DOCK

First licensed as 7 on 28/1/1925. In March 1948 it was run by I. Coutts, Slater and others, then in October 1952 was shared by Weate Transport, O. Macartney and J. Old. In March 1954 Weate Transport became the sole operator, in turn selling to Victoria Dock Bus Co. during November 1955. Renumbered Route 400 in 1971. A separate service operates to North Wharf at times.

ROUTE 401 CITY – JETPORT (MELBOURNE AIRPORT)

Started by Palourcars in April 1970, but only lasted a short time, with domestic airlines also offering shuttle transfers at this time. Later returned as Route 482 from 2/10/1982, operated by Brova Pty Ltd trading as SkyBus, with the domestic airlines shuttles discontinued.

ROUTE 402 FOOTSCRAY – EAST MELBOURNE

Walshe began Route 38 in January 1946 as Footscray to Exhibition Building, Carlton. Extended to East Melbourne in April 1947. Renumbered Route 402 in 1971. Sold to E and P Lovanella on 16/6/1976, who now trade as Starline Coaches.

Nidis IKM613 (Albion Viking, Mee) works the short-lived Moonee Ponds – Highpoint service in 1976 (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 404 FOOTSCRAY – MOONEE PONDS via Racecourse Rd

This route was apparently served in the early days by ‘Motor Cabs’, 7 seaters or less, one of the owners in 1929 being J. Sitch. An MMTB bus service ran from 26/12/1936 until 9/12/1940. It was immediately replaced by Private Route 36, presumably to divert MMTB vehicles to other wartime services.

By 1952 the operator was Lanes Bus Service. It was renumbered Route 404 in 1971. In 1976 Lane sold to C. Nidis. A branch service to Highpoint West Shopping Centre ran from July 1976 until 23/5/1977. Sita Bus Lines took over on 24/11/1980.

ROUTE 406 FOOTSCRAY – HIGHPOINT WEST – EAST KEILOR

Paused at Highpoint West, Bono #22 (Bedford SB5, CAC) (Jack Wayman)

Thomson started Route 142A West Maribyrnong Tram Terminus to East Keilor during the 1957/8 financial year. It was extended to Footscray in 1961.

By April 1962 Barnes Bus Lines had taken over, then in early 1965 it went to Sita and Bono trading as Avondale Heights Bus Service. Sita later dropped out in 1968.

Renumbered Route 406 in 1971. A loop extension to East Keilor west of Milleara Rd was added in May 1973.

ROUTE 408 SUNSHINE – HIGHPOINT WEST via Churchill Ave

Commenced as Sunshine – Maidstone during April 1970 by Sitch Bus Service. Extended to Highpoint West in September 1975.

Sitch #8, (Bedford SB7, CAC) on Route 409 in Footscray in the early ’70s (Paul Nicholson)

ROUTE 409 FOOTSCRAY – YARRAVILLE via Hyde St

This was a “Motor Cab” route, which in 1935 went to J. Sitch. It was licensed as Route 109A in October 1945, including branches to Newport Power Station and Yarraville Ferry.

Renumbered 409 in 1971. Sitch now trades on this route as Footscray – Yarraville Bus service.

ROUTE 410 FOOTSCRAY – SUNSHINE via Ballarat Rd & Duke St

Route 19A was an original route of 1925 running as Ballarat Rd Tram Terminus – Sunshine, but closed during December 1925.

It reopened again in October 1929 but again closed in December 1938 after MMTB had commenced their bus service along Ballarat Rd during August 1938.

Sitch #26, a 1965 Comair Bedford SB5, works the 410 Footscray – Sunshine run, which was their main money spinner back then. (Geoff Foster)

The Private Route re-emerged as Route 110A Footscray – Sunshine in December 1945, including industrial branches to West Maribyrnong and Sunshine Park. A further branch to Albion Station was added from September 1946.

By October 1952 the operator was A. Tresize, who sold to Sitch Bus Service in 1959. Renumbered Route 410 in 1971.

ROUTE 411 FOOTSCRAY – ALTONA via Roberts St & Millers Rd

Joiner started this route in January 1957 as Route 141A. He later resurrected the Altona Bus Lines name (which had existed from the late 1940s to January 1957 under Princes, Deacon & Hebert).

Sitch #67 (Volvo B10M, Volgren) passes the Sita depot in 1987 (Peter Kane)

In 1968 J. Joiner sold to Sitch who continues to trade under Altona Bus Lines. Renumbered Route 411 in 1971.

ROUTE 412 FOOTSCRAY – ALTONA via Roberts St & Mills St

Route 412 shares the same history as Route 411 – there appears to have always been a diversion of the basic Route 141A Millers Rd route along Mills St in Altona East. This received a separate number in the 1971 renumbering.

ROUTE 414 FOOTSCRAY – GUIDING STAR HOTEL (BROOKLYN) – LAVERTON via Geelong Rd

An original route of 1925, Route 20A Footscray – Footscray Cemetery, which included Reynolds as an operator by 1928. In the early 1930s it ran to Holmwood Rd.

Posed at Paisley on 412 duties, Sitch #52 (Bedford VAM70, Comair) (Colin Hirst collection)

In April 1946 it is noted as having extensions to Star Quarry and Monsanto, still operated by J. Reynolds among others. By October 1950 it was Reynolds & Glow, and February 1952 it was shared by G & B Reynolds and J Magree.

By 1961 the terminus was the infamous “Guiding Star”, a hotel near the Koroit Creek Bridge in Brooklyn. By October 1966 Reynolds was the sole operator and soon traded as Geelong Road Bus Service.

The route was sold to Altona Bus Lines (Sitch) on 28/6/1970 and was renumbered Route 414 in 1971.

The route was extended to Laverton 28/2/1972, duplicating part of Point Cook – Werribee Passenger Services’ Route 435 & 437 along Bladin St in North Laverton, which both subsequently closed in 1976.

Sitch #61 (Bedford BLP2, PMCSA) departs Footscray on a Route 414 short to the Guiding Star Hotel in 1986 (Peter Kane)

A branch service Laverton – Altona was added in 1977, this went over part of the old Route 100A North Williamstown – Altona – Point Cook and the southern half of the Route 435. (See more details under Routes 415 and 435.)

ROUTE 415 WILLIAMSTOWN – ALTONA

Calderwood began Route 100A Altona – Point Cook in December 1939. In 1940 it was extended west to North Williamstown Station, and in October that year the Point Cook half of the route was dropped, with the route becoming North Williamstown – Altona.

It was again extended in 1945, this time to the Laverton RAAF Air Base. By May 1947 the operator was Rowe Bus Service, who sold to the original incarnation of Altona Bus Service (Princes, Deacon & Hebert) In the late 1940s.

By January 1957 J. Joiner had taken over, he later reverted to trading under Altona Bus Service. In 1966 he sold to Sitch, who still traded as Altona Bus Lines.

Renumbered Route 415 in 1971, by this point it had been reduced to Williamstown – Altona.

One of many Sitch’s PMC Elwoods, #26 on Route 416 at Sunshine (Dean Kefford collection)

ROUTE 416 SUNSHINE – SUNSHINE NORTH

This route was started by C. Sitch in July 1953 as Route 131A. An extenstion to Lurg Ave happened in April 1962, by when Sitch was trading as North Sunshine Bus Service. Renumbered as Route 416 in 1971.

A branch service to Berkshire Rd began 17/1/1972. The main route was extended to St Albans in January 1974 but was this extension was cut out later that year. The Berkshire Rd branch was withdrawn at an unknown date.

ROUTE 419 TAYLORS LAKES – DEER PARK

New service operated by Altona Bus Lines (Sitch) that commenced in mid 1984.

ROUTE 420 ST ALBANS – EAST ST ALBANS

This route started in January 1957 as part of Route 139A operated by Footscray – Yarraville B.S. (Sitch). Renumbered Route 420 in 1971.

ROUTE 421 ST ALBANS – KEALBA

In January 1957 St Albans – North St Albans began as part of Route 139A operated by Footscray – Yarraville B.S. (Sitch). Extended to Keilor in July 1969 and renumbered Route 421 in 1971. Cut back to St Albans – Kealba on 15/10/1979.

ROUTE 422 ST ALBANS – WEST ST ALBANS

Began in 1970 as part of Route 139A, operated by Footscray – Yarraville B.S. (Sitch). Renumbered Route 422 in 1971.

ROUTE 423 ST ALBANS – SOUTH ST ALBANS

Began in May 1970 as yet another part of Route 139A, operated by Footscray – Yarraville B.S. (Sitch). Renumbered Route 422 in 1971.

ROUTE 424 ST ALBANS – DEER PARK NORTH

A new route of Sitch, which dates from 15/10/1979.

ROUTE 429 YARRAVILLE – ALTONA EAST

This run began on 16/3/1944 as Route 105A, the owner was G. Palmer and it was went as far as Stephenson Ave. Blackshaws Rd was reached in June 1945, whilst by March 1948 it had passed to T. Sherry. In September 1955 Hi-way Busways took over, possibly still under Sherry. By 1967 T. & P. Middleditch had taken over Hi-way Busways.

The route became Route 429 in 1971, going to C. Nidis in 1974, then to Sita Bus Lines in 1979. By the 1980s the terminus changed from South Kingsville to Altona East.

ROUTE 430 YARRAVILLE – GEELONG RD (KINGSVILLE)

In January 1940 Yarraville – Severn St started as Route 101A. Extended to Geelong Rd in May 1940 and to Footscray Cemetery in June 1940. In October 1940 a service on the east side of the railway line to Whitehall St started, going to Yarraville Ferry and SEC Power Station from May 1943.

By November 1944 the owner was G. Palmer (who also operated Route 105A), then by October 1952 it was J. Goller trading as Yarra – King Bus Service. In May 1955 it sold to Yarraville – Kingsville Bus Service (A & J McConnell).

The operation on the east side of the railway vanished at an unknown date. (Arch) Murrays Coaches took over in 1969. The Geelong Rd route became Route 430 in 1971, and passed to Reggio Coaches (Sita) in 1975.

ROUTE 432 NEWPORT – PAISLEY

The Lucas family’s West Newport Bus Service ran a (mostly) non-Bedford fleet on their two local Newport runs. HTU 011 was a 1963 Albion Victor VT17BL/Freighter, seen here at the Newport terminus. (Geoff Foster)

A local service to West Newport began in December 1944 as Route 106A. The area in South Newport (Jack St) was also served by 1946, this leg was extended around to North Williamstown Station, at which time the owner was C. Lucas. Another leg started 25/8/1958, Newport – Mason St – Spotswood (over old Route 80A) but it soon closed on 14/1/1959.

In March 1963 the Mason St via Jack St was separated and had reached Millers Rd in March 1967. By this time Lucas was trading as West Newport Bus Service. Renumbered Route 432 in 1971, then sold to Sita Bus Lines on 28/3/1980. The terminus was at one stage known as McIntosh St but buses terminate beside the now closed station at Paisley.

ROUTE 433 NEWPORT – GRIEVE PDE, ALTONA NORTH

In March 1963 Newport – Millers Rd via Blackshaws Rd commenced by C. Lucas as part of Route 106A. Later that year it extended to Freemans Rd and by 1967 he traded as West Newport Bus Service. It became known as Route 433 in 1971 before being extended to Grieve Pde on 20/11/1978. Sita purchased the route on 28/3/1980.

ROUTE 435 NORTH LAVERTON – LAVERTON – SOUTH LAVERTON

An unnumbered Laverton Town route began in January 1966 as Laverton – Laverton North, operated by Point Cook – Werribee Passenger Service. It became Route 435 in 1971 and was extended to South Laverton in 1973. A Route 437 service between Sunshine and South Laverton had been introduced during 1971.

Sitch’s Route 414 service from Footscray was extended over the Laverton – North Laverton section on 28/2/1972, which led to both Routes 435 & 437 ceasing in 1976. In 1977 Route 414 was extended from Laverton to Altona, incorporating the South Laverton half of 435.

ROUTE 436 WERRIBEE – WERRIBEE PLAZA – HOPPERS CROSSING

Commenced in 1971 by Point Cook – Werribee Passenger Service and extended as suburbia grew.

ROUTE 437 (1ST) SUNSHINE – LAVERTON – SOUTH LAVERTON via Fitzgerald Rd

Started in November 1971 by Point Cook – Werrribee Passenger Service, however closed in 1976.

ROUTE 437 (2ND) WERRIBEE – WERRIBEE PLAZA – HOPPERS CROSSING

New route serving the booming Werribee area in the mid 1980s.

ROUTE 438 SOUTH WERRIBEE – WERRIBEE – WYNDHAM VALE

An unnumbered town service in Werribee to Werribee North and South Werribee began in May 1965, operated by Point Cook – Werribee Passenger Service.

By 1971 when Route 438 was numbered, it was Werribee – Windermere (an extension of the North Werribee). A loop extension around South Werribee was added on 3/7/1978, while the other end was further extended to Wyndham Vale in 1981.

ROUTE 439 WERRIBEE – WERRIBEE SOUTH
ROUTE 440 WERRIBEE – HOPPERS CROSSING via Princes Hwy

New routes in Werribee area south of the rail line, both introduced in the late 1980s.

ROUTE 450 SUNSHINE – GLENGALA ESTATE

Sita #90 (Elwood HFA / GM, PMCSA) rests in the depot during 1992 (Peter Kane)

Began in 1977 by Sunshine Bus Lines

ROUTE 451 SUNSHINE – DEER PARK NORTH

In January 1953 Sunshine – Deer Park North (part of Route 130A) was started by W. Rogers and J. West. Sold to Barnes Coaches in September 1958.

An extension to St Albans began in June 1967. Renumbered Route 451 in 1971. Sold to Panther Bus Lines in 1972, then Sunshine Bus Lines (Rogers) on 1/3/1973. The route was altered Sunshine – Deer Park North from 12/11/1979. Control of Sunshine B.L. passed to Sita in 1983.

ROUTE 452 SUNSHINE – SOUTH SUNSHINE

Barnes Bus Lines began this route in September 1958 as part of Route 130A, becoming Route 452 in 1971. Barnes sold to Panther Bus Lines in 1972, who in turn sold to Sunshine Bus Lines (Rogers) on 1/3/1973. Sita has had control of Sunshine Bus Lines since 1983.

ROUTE 453 SUNSINE – WESTGATE

Exactly the same history as Route 452 above.

ROUTE 454 SUNSHINE – WEST SUNSHINE

Sunshine – Glengala Rd, West Sunshine began in January 1953 by W. Rogers & J. West as part of Route 130A. Transferred to Barnes Coaches in September 1958. It was given its own route no. 155A in October 1968 and extended to Fitzgerald Rd, West Sunshine. Became Route 454 in 1971, sold to Panther Bus Lines in 1972, then Sunshine Bus Lines (Rogers) on 1/3/1972. Sita took over Sunshine B.L. in 1983.

ROUTE 455 SUNSHINE – SOUTH WEST SUNSHINE

Barnes Coaches started this run in the 1960s as part of Route 130A. Renumbered Route 455 in 1971, then same ownership history as Route 452.

ROUTE 456 SUNSHINE – MELTON

A service from Sunshine to Bacchus Marsh was opened by Barnes in February 1960 as part of Route 130A. It was cut back to Melton in April 1966, then closed in March 1969. It reopened 16/1/1970 and in 1971 became Route 456. It was sold to Panther Bus Lines in 1972, extended the route to South Melton. Sunshine B.L. (Rogers) took over 1/3/1973 and the route was reduced to the trunk service Sunshine – Melton on 8/4/1980. Control went to Sita in 1983.

ROUTE 457 MELTON TOWN SERVICE

A local Melton Town Service, started by Barnes Coaches in October 1968, as part of Route 130A, lasted for an unknown period. On 8/4/1980 two circular routes, 1 and 2, commenced by Sunshine Bus Lines (Rogers), part of these have since been included in the 456. In 1983, Sita took control of Sunshine Bus Lines.

ROUTE 461 NIDDRIE – AIRPORT WEST

Route 145A began late in 1960 as Essendon Airport – Airport West by Progress Bus Lines, connecting off the tram service. By October 1962 it had passed to Barnes Bus Lines. In the next year it had been altered to Niddrie – Airport West, and the operator was K. Cummingham. In 1964 it was run by Hicks, who traded as Airport West Bus Service.

Early in 1967 it further changed hands, this time to Western Consolidated, followed by a short-lived extension to Tullamarine Jetport (Melbourne Airport) in June 1970. Renumbered Route 461 in 1971.

The run was again sold on 31/5/1971 to E & L Pincini and yet again to Devesons Bus & Coach Service on 26/4/1973.

April 1976 saw the run amalgamated into 463 to form Essendon – Niddrie – Airport West (Westfield Shops). Devesons later sold to Kastoria Bus Lines (Spyrou) on 26/10/1978, the eighth operator to operate the local Airport West service in under 20 years.

ROUTE 463 ESSENDON – NIDDRIE – AIRPORT WEST

Deveson’s ran Route 463 from Essendon to Niddrie. JGA 941 was a 1965 Albion Viking VK41L / Cheetham & Borwick acquired from Moreland Bus Lines. (Geoff Foster)

This was an original route of 1925, Route 16A Essendon – Braemar. In February 1937 the operator was T. Lee. Later on it was Essendon – Nimmo St, operated by R. Thompson who sold the run to F. Deveson in March 1952.

An extension to Hoffmans Rd was made in January 1962. Renumbered Route 463 in 1971.

In April 1976 it was linked with Route 461 to form Essendon – Niddrie – Airport West. Sold out to Kastoria Bus Lines (Spyrou) on 26/10/1979.

ROUTE 465 ESSENDON – EAST KEILOR – KEILOR PARK

Another original route of 1925, Route 17A. In March 1930 it was extended to Nimmo St. By October 1948 the operator was Red Motor Bus Service (Grant) who in 1952 had been joined by Memery. In January 1955 H & M Memery took over.

Barnes Bus Service had bought by November 1959, who linked it to Route 39 to form Flemington Bridge – Moonee Ponds – Essendon – West Essendon – Keilor. However, the extension was short lived, as Route 17A had re-emerged by January 1963 as Moonee Ponds – Essendon – West Essendon, operated by G & E Hills.

Ryan’s got their first Mercedes Benz OH1316, Ansair in February 1985. Two months later CKQ 176 is seen in Buckley St, Essendon working the 465 to Keilor Park. (Geoff Foster)

The extension to Moonee Ponds ceased during the 1960s and Hill’s sold to Ryan Bros Bus Service on 5/1/1970. The route was renumbered Route 465 in 1971.

On 18/3/1985 the route was extended to Keilor Park, following the linking of the two halves of Buckley St across the Steele (or Rose) Creek valley.

ROUTE 467 MOONEE PONDS – ABERFELDIE

Yet another of the 1925 routes was Route 15A, which has been virtually unchanged since other than some minor route extensions.

The earliest recorded operator was Pout Bros in October 1944, then in May 1945 it was P. Callaghan.

Ryan Bros took over by May 1948 and still operate it. Became Route 467 in 1971.

Ryan Bros KLM 535 (Leyland Leopard, Cheetham & Borwick) of 1969 loads at Moonee Ponds Station for Aberfeldie one Saturday morning in May 1985 (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 468 ESSENDON – HIGHPOINT CITY

Started on 14/12/1987 by Ryan Bros to provide a new link to Highpoint City Shopping Centre from Essendon and Aberfeldie.

ROUTE 471 NEWPORT – WILLIAMSTOWN

In January 1928 a loop service began North Williamstown – Williamstown – North Williamstown as Route 57A. It was extended on Sunday afternoons to Newport from July 1936. Meanwhile, Route 71A Newport – Williamstown Shops began in January 1931, and was extended to Williamstown Road Ferry in June 1940.

In June 1948 the two routes merged into Route 71A Newport – Williamstown Shops – Victoria St.

By 1952 the operator was W & A Grainger, although in July 1953 Nicol & Sinclair took over but traded as Grainger’s Bus Service.

Granger’s #13 (Bedford SB5, Comair) at Moonee Ponds in the early ’70s (Paul Nicholson)

Renumbered Route 471 in 1971, was sold to Sita Bus Lines on 1/1/1972, thence to Pulitano Bus Service on 15/5/1972.

Returned to Sita Bus Lines on 24/11/1980.

ROUTE 472 MOONEE PONDS – FOOTSCRAY – WILLIAMSTOWN BEACH

In April 1931 a route began as Route 74A Footscray – Ascot Vale (Epsom Rd). Extended to Ascot Vale Station in July 1935, then to Moonee Ponds in October 1935.

The current route was formed in April 1947 by extension from Footscray to Williamstown Beach, and in January 1948 was multiple operated by Grainger, Lane and others.

In May 1952 it was shared by Knight, Lane, Grainger, Reid, Lucas, H. & T. Hartney and Lewis.

Sita IJW 739 (Bedford VAM70, CCMC) was new 14/10/1969 and came to Sita in 11/1975 from Cumborah BS, Walgett.

Next in December 1952 C. Lucas was replaced by Rowes Bus Service, whilst in March 1953 F. & R. Knight sold their share to R. Howard.

Much was happening, and in July 1953 Nichol & Sinclair moved in, but traded as Graingers Bus Service. Around this time other operators on the run were Waddell, Love and Ladd.

Lewis went out in November 1953, Waddell dropped out in February 1954 and by March 1954 A. Barker had replaced Lane. Rowes Bus Service then dropped out in July 1955.

By March 1961 Barnes Bus Lines had replaced Reid and Howard and by November 1962 Hartney had gone, leaving only Grainger and Barnes.

Graingers assumed full control in November 1963.

Renumbered as Route 472 in 1971. Graingers ultimately sold to Sita on 1/1/1972.

An old Kastoria B.L. bus from the 1970s was HGM 786, a 1958 Albion Aberdonian bodied by Comeng. Before Kastoria it was new to Sinclairs for the North Road run. (Geoff Foster)

 

ROUTE 475 MOONEE PONDS – NIDDRIE – EAST KEILOR

Kastoria Bus Lines (Spyrou & Sikavitsas) introduced this route in May 1964 as a branch of their Route 39 Moonee Ponds – Keilor.

The Sikavitsas family departed the Kastoria Bus Lines partnership on 10/5/1970 to form Tullamarine Bus Lines.

The service became Route 475 in 1971, still operated by Kastoria Bus Lines.

ROUTE 476 MOONEE PONDS – NIDDRIE – TAYLORS LAKES

Started in April 1931 as Route 75A Essendon Tram – Keilor, running a couple of times a day. It extended to Essendon Station in December 1931 and at the other end to Arundel Bridge in July 1943.

Kastoria #24 (Mercedes Benz OH1316, Ansair) arrives into Moonee Ponds interchange in 1985 (Peter Kane)

By October 1952 the operator was F. Bawden who extended the run to Moonee Ponds in September 1953. Sold to Barnes Bus Lines in November 1959, it was linked in September 1960 with Route 39 to form Flemington Bridge – Moonee Ponds – Essendon – Niddrie – Keilor.

In 1964 the section Flemington Bridge – Moonee Ponds closed and Barnes sold to Kastoria Bus Lines (Spyrou & Sikavitsas) that year. The Sikavitsas departed the Kastoria Bus Lines partnership on 10/5/1970 to form the separate Tullamarine Bus Lines.

Route 39 was renumbered Route 476 in 1971 and extended from Keilor to Taylors Lakes on 16/3/1981.

 

ROUTE 477 MOONEE PONDS – NIDDRIE – AIRPORT WEST – BROADMEADOWS

Tullamarine Bus Lines #8 (Bedford VAM70, Comair), ex Ventura #68, departs Essendon on Route 477 in 1981 (Jack Wayman)

This route has been traced back as far as November 1954 when it was Route 210A Essendon – Greenvale Home, operated by G. Beardsley, trading as Progress Bus Lines.

A diversion to Broadmeadows Station began in June 1958. By November 1962 the route had become Moonee Ponds – Broadmeadows, operated by Barnes Bus Lines. The service for staff and visitors to Greenvale Home was virtually a ‘private” service from Broadmeadows.

In 1964 Route 210A was sold to Sikavitsas & Spyrou trading as Kastoria Bus Lines. Their partnership was dissolved in 1970, with the Sikavitas family forming Tullamarine Bus Lines on 10/5/1970 who assumed ownership of Route 210A.

1970 also saw a branch service to the new Jetport at Tullamarine (today’s Melbourne Airport). Route 210A was renumbered as Route 477 in 1971 with the branch to Jetport given Route 478 in 1981.

 

Tullamarine #5 rests at Moonee Ponds. This was one of a few Bedford SB5, Freighters bought from Ventura during the era when most of the fleet received the aluminium siding treatment. (Geoff Foster)

ROUTE 478 MOONEE PONDS – NIDDRIE – AIRPORT WEST – JETPORT (MELBOURNE AIRPORT)

During the 1970s a number of shortworkings to Bulla on Tullamarine Bus Lines’ Route 479 (Moonee Ponds – Sunbury) were given Route 478.

In 1981 however, the number was reallocated to become Moonee Ponds – Jetport, still operated by Tullamarine Bus Lines.

ROUTE 479 MOONEE PONDS – NIDDRIE – AIRPORT WEST – JETPORT (MELBOURNE AIRPORT) – SUNBURY

First discovery of this route is a country run in 1944 operating Essendon to Sunbury by Moonee Ponds – Sunbury Bus Service. Sold to G. Beardsley in March 1949 who by 1956 was trading as Progress Bus Lines and this service was Route 209A.

In 1962 it went to Barnes Bus Lines and certain trips came through to Melbourne.

In 1964 Route 209A was sold to Sikavitsas & Spyrou trading as Kastoria Bus Lines. Their partnership was dissolved in 1970, with the Sikavitas family forming Tullamarine Bus Lines who assumed ownership of Route 209A.

Renumbered as Route 479 in 1971, with an extension to Gap Rd, Sunbury beginning in January 1973.

ROUTE 480 CITY – JETPORT (MELBOURNE AIRPORT)

Started on 6/6/1978 by Brova Pty Ltd (Mini Bus) trading as SkyBus. Also see Route 482.

ROUTE 481 SUNBURY TOWN SERVICE

MMTB #782 (AEC Regal Mk4, Freighter) gained a second life with Sunbury Bus Service as JJB978 (Bruce Tilley)

This number was allocated in 1982 for Sunbury Bus Service (Donric) which had been a limited unnumbered service, provided in the early 1970s by a Mr Teeweek. Route 481 comprised on three separate routes – North, South & Gonnawarra Estate. For a short time these routes have been shared with Tullamarine Bus Lines (Sikavitsas), operator of Route 479 between Moonee Ponds and Sunbury.

ROUTE 482 SPENCER STREET STATION – JETPORT (MELBOURNE AIRPORT)

Began on 2/10/1982 by Brova Pty Ltd trading as SkyBus as a replacement of the previous domestic airlines shuttle services.