Complied by Graeme Cleak
Updated by Craig Halsall and Tony Willman
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.
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
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.
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.
ROUTE 600 ST KILDA STATION – MIDDLE BRIGHTON
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.
ROUTE 601 CITY (SWANSTON ST) – NORTH ROAD, 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.
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.
ROUTE 603 ST KILDA STATION – BEACH AVENUE ELWOOD
A shortworking of Route 600 in 1971, the use of this number has now ceased.
ROUTE 604 ST KILDA STATION – HEAD ST, ELWOOD
As for route 603.
ROUTE 605 CITY (PRINCES BRIDGE) – NORTH RD, GARDENVALE
An original route of 1925 was No. 3 City – Gardenvale via St. Kilda Road, Alma Road, Kooyong Road to North Road, however it ceased in 1925. Then in 6/1937 Route 33 began as City (Batman Ave) to Toorak (cnr Bruce & George Streets), the operators were Walker & Paps. Then in 12/1938, Heyington Station – Elsternwick via Kooyong Road began as 98A.
Walker bought out Paps in 1939, and in 1944 took over 98A. He merged the two routes as 33 City – Glenhuntly Rd in 11/1946. By 1952 the route had passed to Spencers B.L., and was deviated by Toorak Station in 12/1953. A revolutionary move was the introduction of a 6d flat fare from 4/4/1956.
In 10/1958, the licence transferred to E.S.O.S., which was still Spencer. Renumbered 605 in 1971, it was sold to Sinclairs on 1/7/1972 who retained E.S.O.S. as the operating name. On 6/12/1982 the route was extended to North Road, Gardenvale.
ROUTE 606 ST KILDA – FISHERMANS BEND
Began in 3/1941 as route 37, and in 1943 was run by Mrs. W. Pring. It was cut back to Port Melbourne 2/1950, and in 8/1952, the then operator Cartins B.L. linked it with his 27A St. Kilda Beach – Murrumbeena (via Glen Eira Road). This was not successful, the St Kilda – Murrumbeena part ceased in 5/1955, and the Fishermans Bend extension returned again in 9/1957. The licence transferred in 1961 to All Weather Scenic Coaches (Cartin). In 1971 it was renumbered 606, and it is now operated under the name St Kilda B.L.
ROUTE 607 BURNLEY STATION – ABBOTSFORD
Route 31 started as Toorak Station – Hawksburn via Heyington in 7/1933. It was shortly altered to Toorak – Burnley Station, and in 3/1935 was extended up to Victoria Street. In 6/1952 the operator was F. Barton who sold to Spencer B.L. in 2/54. It was again sold in 12/1958 to S. Smith, and then to Welch in 1970. Renumbered 607 in 1971, sold to Hawthorn B.S. on 22/10/1972.
The section Toorak Station – Burnley Station was closed 4/7/1980 with the remaining section closing in 1987.
ROUTE 608 HAWTHORN BRIDGE – CAMBERWELL JUNCTION
Another original route of 1925, Route 10 was Hawthorn Bridge- Camberwell Junction; in 1/1928 it was cut back to Hawthorn Station and renumbered 58A, as it was then outside the ‘radius’. However, it was reverted to Hawthorn Bridge in 12/1928 and regained Route No. 10. In 9/1937 the operators were Jeffrey, Hoare, Maroney and Davidson trading as ‘Route 10 Bus Service’.
This route also had some sort of cutback during the war to a tram feeder, being fully restored in 10/45. In 12/52 the partners in Route 10 B.S. were Hoare and Davidson and around 1967 the run was sold to V. Haoust. As part of the renumbering in 1971 the route became 608. Haoust is now trading as Hawthorn Bus Service.
ROUTE 609 KEW – WILLSMERE HOSPITAL
This route commenced 12/1929 as Kew to North Kew and was soon extended to Fairfield Park Station in 6/1930. This station was renamed Fairfield in 11/1943 and then the bus route was extended to Glenferrie and Cotham Roads in 5/1949. The operator in 1952 was Webb trading as Kew – Fairfield Bus Service. The section from Kew Mental Hospital to Fairfield closed 8/1958 and by 1961 the operator was A. Pollard and the route renumbered 609 in 1971.
This route now basically serves visitors to Kew Mental Home and ‘outpatients’ to the Royal Talbot Centre (from 4/10/1976) and does not come under the ‘Met’ Fare System.
ROUTE 610 BOX HILL – CAMBERWELL
A comparatively new run, route 136A Camberwell- Box Hill North began 7/5/1956 by J. Bridge. Extension to Box Hill Station followed 10/1957, and by 7/1958 C. Dunn had joined Bridges as the operator. It was sold to R. Curren 9/1965 and was renumbered 610 in 1971. Sold to Driver B.L. 3/1/1978, and was abolished 29/5/1978 when Driver’s rationalised Routes 610 and 612 to form 612 Chadstone – Camberwell – Box Hill.
ROUTE 612 CHADSTONE – CAMBERWELL – BOX HILL
In 2/1934 the run from Glen Iris to Camberwell Junction was licensed as 81A, although it is understood to have actually begun 31/3/1931, operator has always been Driver Bros (later trading as Driver Bus Lines).
A diversion to Ashburton operated for a time from 7/1952 before a major extension to Chadstone began 12/1960, which replaced some of 88A (East Malvern – North Road) between East Malvern and Chadstone. Renumbered 612 in 1971, it was extended to Box Hill 29/5/1978, incorporating Route 610.
ROUTE 615 BOX HILL – NORTH BALWYN TRAM TERMINUS
Route 108A dates from 10/1945, as Box Hill – Mont Albert tram although Williamson and Smith t/as Whitehorse B.S. had been running since 1927 (maybe with 7 seaters). Williamson was a long time operator, and in 1952 was in partnership with W. Steiner as Whitehorse B.S., although Steiner dropped out in 2/1954.
An extension to Greythorn began in 2/60, (mostly over part of the old 92A Burwood Tram – Mont Albert – North Balwyn Sanctuary).108A went further to Greythorn shops from 11/1961 and onto North Balwyn Tram 2/1965. Renumbered 615 in 1971, it was sold to Hawthorn B.S. 8/1981.
ROUTE 616 MIDDLE BRIGHTON – NORTH RD, SOUTH CAULFIELD
The first sign of this route began 11/1938 when 63A, East Brighton Tram – Middle Brighton Beach commenced. Then in 8/1946, 115A Caulfield – North Road via Bambra Rd was started by Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service, and extended to Nepean Hwy 2/1947. By this time 63A was being operated by Arrow M.S. (Suhr), and 115A was sold to Lee 4/1949, who in turn sold to Spence t/as Nuline B.S. on 31/10/1949. Nuline then purchased 63A off Arrow M.S. 8/1951 to form 115A Caulfield – Middle Brighton.
115A was next altered 7/58 when it incorporated Nuline’s recent acquisition, 44A Middle Brighton – Moorabbin, to form 115A Caulfield – Middle Brighton – Moorabbin, quickly becoming a strong suburban route. It extended to Southland in 1968 and in 1971 renumbered 617.
Nuline sold to Moonee Valley B.L. 1/3/72. They split the 617 service in 1973 and the Caulfield – Middle Brighton portion became route 616. Traffic had fallen greatly and on 28/1/1982 it was cut back to Middle Brighton – North Rd, South Caulfield.
Moonee Valley B.L. resurrected Nuline B.S. for their southern suburbs routes on 19/6/1985. After a transistion period during 1986, the operation was sold to Craig Coop effective 1/1/1987.
ROUTE 617 SOUTHLAND – MIDDLE BRIGHTON
This service was an original route of 1925, 31A Middle Brighton P.O. – South Rd & Hampton St, and extended 11/1925 to South Rd & Creswick St.
Meanwhile 44A Brighton Beach Station – Moorabbin started 7/1925. Then 7/1936 saw 31A extended at the Middle Brighton end to run via New St to Were St.
By the late 1940s W. McGeary sold both routes to C. Milburn. They were formed into 44A in 1/1953, becoming Middle Brighton – Moorabbin, and Brighton Beach – Moorabbin.
44A was sold to D. Aplin in 6/1953 and to Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service 5/1954. Nuline B.S. purchased the routes 30/6/1958 and straightaway linked Middle Brighton – Moorabbin to 115A becoming Caulfield – Middle Brighton –Moorabbin (also see 616).
Extended to Southland 1968, 115A was renumbered 617 in 1971, and sold to Moonee Valley B.L. on 1/3/72, who split the route in 1973. Southland – Middle Brighton remained 617, while Caulfield – Middle Brighton became 616.
Moonee Valley B.L. resurrected Nuline B.S. for their southern suburbs routes on 19/6/1985.
After a transition period during 1986, the operation was sold to Craig Coop effective 1/1/1987.
ROUTE 618 SOUTHLAND – NORTH BRIGHTON
An original route of 1925 was 34A North Brighton – Hampton Street & South Road, which was extended 11/1925 to Hampton Station, then to Beach Road 7/1931.
A new route of 2/1940 was 102A North Brighton – Moorabbin and by the mid 1940s both of these routes were operated by Arrow M.S. (H. Suhr). 34A went further to Sandringham Station from 4/1952 for an unknown period.
Both routes sold to D. Aplin 7/53. 102A was then sold to Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Services 5/1954, whilst 34A went to L. Page 9/1954.
Nuline B.S. bought both routes 2/1955 and they were merged to form 102A Hampton – North Brighton – Moorabbin in 1/1956.
Extended to Southland and renumbered 618 in 1971. Moonee Valley B.L. took over 1/3/1972.
An interpeak branch service Middle Brighton – Hampton via New St began 2/1973, followed by a further branch North Brighton – Middle Brighton commencing 3/1973.
The route was severely slashed in 1974, and only Southland – North Brighton remained. Sandringham Bus Service’s 644 was later extended north from Sandringham to North Brighton from 15 November 1982, along similar routes.
Moonee Valley B.L. resurrected Nuline B.S. for their southern suburbs routes on 19/6/1985.
After a transition period during 1986, the operation was sold to Craig Coop effective 1/1/1987.
ROUTE 619 CAULFIELD – SOUTHLAND
A direct shoppers service was started by Moonee Valley Bus Lines in November 1972 on an infrequent timetable.
Unfortunately, it was not a success and was withdrawn in September 1973.
ROUTE 620 CHADSTONE – CAULFIELD – GARDINER – CARNEGIE – McKINNON
Three original routes of January 1925 were 24A Caulfield – Gardiner – Burwood, 25A Darling Station – East Bentleigh and 33A North Brighton – Brighton Cemetery.
24A was cut back in September 1925 to run from Caulfield to Gardiner.
In 1927 the 24A was operated by W. Laidlaw. He ran the service until the fifties, when he was trading as Burke Road Bus service.
W. Laidlaw. sold out to E. Nicholls who extended the route to Chadstone in October 1960. The route was sold to Royena Motors in 1968 which linked it with their 25A service to operate as Chadstone – Caulfield – Gardiner – Carnegie – McKinnon.
33A had been extended in February 1931 to operate from Middle Brighton to McKinnon, but was curtailed to run from North Brighton to Brighton Cemetery in August 1931, with 76A Middle Brighton – McKinnon taking its place.
In October 1932 the section North Brighton – Middle Brighton transferred back to 33A again. It was simplified in January 1936 when 33A was again altered to McKinnon – Middle Brighton and 76A became redundant.
The 25A had been extended to run from Gardiner to East Bentleigh in May 1931 and in June 1938 it was linked with the 33A to become the 25A from Middle Brighton to Gardiner.
By 1949 the operator of 25A was Spencer trading as Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service who ran a large fleet of Leylands and Reos along with several Seddons bodied by Cheetham and Borwick.
The route was extended in July 1953 from McKinnon along Tucker Rd to Moorabbin but this extension was withdrawn on the 20 August 1955.
In 1959 the route was split with the 25A becoming Gardiner – McKinnon. The McKinnon – North Brighton section became 149A. 25A was sold to Royena Motors soon after with the 149A going to an unknown operator and this route closed in April 1963.
After Royena Motors bought 24A in 1968, they linked it to the 25A to form the 25A Chadstone – Caulfield – Gardiner – Carnegie – McKinnon, crossing over itself at the Dandenong & Koonang Rds intersection in Carnegie. However, in the 1971 renumbering, separate numbers were allocated for the two sections of this route and Gardiner – McKinnon became the 620.
November 1973 again saw the sections linked up and the Route 620 became Chadstone – Caulfield – Gardiner – Carnegie – McKinnon. The route was sold to Casey’s Coaches in 1976 and then to Camden Bus Service on 1 November 1981.
On 28 August 1982 the portion of the route from Chadstone to Carnegie was incorporated into Camden’s 627 along with the later the portion to McKinnon. The rest of the route was abandoned although most sections in East Malvern were later incorporated into an extension of Shave’s route 622 from 28 February 1983.
ROUTE 621 CHADSTONE – CAULFIELD – GARDINER
This number was allocated in 1971 to a portion of 25A but was absorbed into the 620 in November 1973.
This portion of 25A had previously operated as 24A. In 1968, E. Nicholls sold out to Royena Motors who linked 24A with their 25A service, forming the convoluted 24A Chadstone – Caulfield – Gardiner – Carnegie – McKinnon. Full history can be found under 620 above.
ROUTE 622 CHADSTONE – OAKLEIGH – HOLMESGLEN – CHADSTONE – DARLING – CAULFIELD
In April 1926 the 47A Carnegie to East Oakleigh began and in August 1927 it was diverted by Castlebar Rd and Oakleigh Station. A short extension to the Carnegie tram was opened in November 1945 and by August 1948 the route was operated by Mr O. Shave. The other end of the route was extended in June 1950 to Franklyn St, Oakleigh.
In March 1955 the route was altered to run along Box Hill Rd (Huntingdale Road) to Holmesglen with a branch via Waverley Rd to Syndal Station. These extensions had been started on 6 March 1954 by E. Davies Bus Service. June 1958 saw the Syndal branch altered to run via Ferntree Gully Rd as the 264A and passed to Clarinda Transport (Ventura).
Soon after the opening of the Chadstone shopping complex, the portion Chadstone to Carnegie Tram Terminus was withdrawn, being covered by Shave’s new 27A St. Kilda – Chadstone – Glen Waverley North service from July 1962. In 1971 Chadstone – Oakleigh – Holmesglen was renumbered 622. A branch service from Chadstone to Oak Park Dr began on 9 February 1981.
Rationalisation and extension took place on 28 February 1983 when the trunk route changed to a most confusing route Chadstone – Oakleigh – Holmesglen – Chadstone – Darling – Caulfield, incorporating parts of Camden’s former 620 service (discontinued 6 months earlier on 28 August 1982 with the integration into 627). The Oak Park Dr branch was reduced to one trip each way diversion off Huntingdale Road. On Saturday mornings, 622 continued to run Chadstone – Oakleigh – Holmesglen only.
Driver Bus Lines took over the route in September 1986, with the route operated under the Waverley Transit brand.
An interim arrangement took effect from 24 September 1990, with 622 and 625 combined to form a Kew – Caulfield – Chadstone – Holmesglen – Oakleigh route on weekdays (with trips no longer looping back to Chadstone from Oakleigh). Trips alternated between Carnegie (former 625) or Darling (former 622). The timetable simply refers a dual 622/625 number for the entire length – buses generally continued to display 625 between Kew & Caulfield and 622 between Chadstone & Oakleigh, regardless of their path in the middle of the route. Saturday services on 622 now operated Chadstone – Holmesglen – Oakleigh. Separate 625 trips still operated Chadstone – Carnegie – Caulfield – Kew, although Saturday afternoon trips were shelved. The combined 622/625 route became 624 from 29 July 1991.
ROUTE 623 ST KILDA – CHADSTONE – MT WAVERLEY – GLEN WAVERLEY
An original route of January 1925 was the 27A from Caulfield Town Hall to Ripponlea. It was extended to Luna Park from February 1925 until June 1925 and again from December 1925 and August 1927. In the 1930s the route was from Ripponlea to Kambrook Rd under Glen Motors. It was extended to St. Kilda Beach in May 1948 and at the other end to Murrumbeena in July 1950.
By 1952 the operator was Cartlins Bus lines and in August 1952 the 27A was linked to their service 37 Port Melbourne to St. Kilda service to become the 37 Port Melbourne to Murrumbeena. The St. Kilda to Murrumbeena section was abandoned in May 1955.
Cartlin later operated under the trading name of All Weather Scenic Coaches and over the years operated a range of vehicles including a Cheetham and Borthwick bodied Stewart, Internationals, Federals, Bedford OBs with bodies by Grummit and C.A.C., Bedford SBs and several heavy vehicles. The latter vehicles operated on the 27 service and included two ex- New South Wales D.G.T. AEC Regals with Waddington bodies and three ex- M. & M.T.B. Leyland Tigers.
On 6 February 1956 a Mr. R. Lee reopened the 27A as Ripponlea to Kambrook Rd but closed the service two years later. Then in April 1961, Blake and Taylor trading as Micro Tours began the 27A Chadstone to St. Kilda but withdrew from the run in March 1962. Shave reopened the 27A in July 1962 and linked it to the Chadstone to Glen Waverley North part of the 47A.
The 47A had started in June 1958 as Oakleigh to Glen Waverley by Shave and was extended to High Street Rd Glen Waverley in January 1961. It was altered in March 1962 to run from Chadstone to Glen Waverley North (Highbury Rd) and it was linked to St. Kilda in July 1962, being renumbered 27A.
When Ventura Motors extended North from Glen Waverley, the portion of 27A from High Street Road to Highbury Road was abandoned in May 1965 and the section north of Glen Waverley station followed soon after.
The route was renumbered 623 in 1971 and passed to Driver Bus Lines with the rest of the Shave business in September 1986, with the route operated under the Waverley Transit brand.
ROUTE 624 CHADSTONE – MOUNT WAVERLEY
A number allocated to short workings of 623 but it has not been used since 1978.
ROUTE 625 CHADSTONE – CAULFIELD – KEW
There was a route 42A which ran from Caulfield to Auburn via Tooronga Road from March 1925 until December 1925. The service recommenced in August 1928 as the 61A Malvern to Tooronga, followed by the 79A Tooronga to Auburn in July 1933. This route was extended to Cotham Road in August 1935 and to Kilby Road, Kew in July 1936. By 1944 a Mr. E. Staunton ran the 61A and in April 1945 Mrs D. Christie ran the 79A.
The 61A was extended to Hartwell in July 1952 and the 79A was extended from Tooronga to the Toorak Tram in 1953, replacing a section of the old 56A Toorak Tram Terminus to Hartwell that had recently closed. During 1954 Staunton bought the 79A and formed the 61A Malvern to East Kew with a branch to Ashburton that lasted for an unknown period. Staunton now traded as Green Bus Lines and extended the service to Belford Road, Kew in January 1955.
Staunton sold out to the Melbourne Motor Coach Company in September 1965 who, in turn, sold out to Shave Bus Service in April 1966. They immediately altered the route to Chadstone – Caulfield – Tooronga – East Kew. There may have been a period when Melbourne Motor withdrew from the route before Shave took over.
The route was renumbered 625 in 1971, and sold to Driver in September 1986, with the route operating under the Waverley Transit brand.
An interim arrangement took effect from 24 September 1990, with 622 and 625 combined to form a Kew – Caulfield – Chadstone – Holmesglen – Oakleigh route on weekdays. Separate 625 trips still operated Chadstone – Kew on Saturdays, but afternoon trips were shelved. The combined 622/625 route became 624 from 29 July 1991. Further details under 622.
ROUTE 627 ELSTERNWICK – ORMOND – OAKLEIGH – CHADSTONE – CARNEGIE – MCKINNON
A route from Oakleigh to Ormond began in October 1929, numbered 64A. In May 1937, F. Foster was operating the 94A from Elwood Beach to Elsternwick. The 94A was extended from Elsternwick to Hawthorn Rd in South Caulfield in May 1938 and onto Booran Rd in August 1939. In 1941 the operators of the 64A were Ellis & Brook while the 94A was operated by Foster & Bond. The latter service was cut back to Narrawong Rd on 8/8/1943 and then was extended to Ormond Station in December 1945. The 94A was abandoned in September 1951 and in 1952 the operators of the 64A were McKenna and Hocking.
94A was reopened in February 1953 as Elsternwick to Ormond by W. Spencer and A. Berry who traded as Camden Bus Service. They took over the 64A on 23/10/1955 and merged it with the 94A to form the 94A Elsternwick – Ormond – Oakleigh service on which they operated five Reo and two Maple Leaf buses in the 50s.
The service was extended to the Chadstone Shopping Centre in October 1960. An extension from Elsternwick to Brickwood St in Gardenvale was tried from July 1962 but it is not known how long it lasted.
During the 1960s shopping hours trips were alerted to operate Elsternwick – Ormond – Hughesdale – Chadstone. A third of services (roughly every 70 mins) then continued onto Oakleigh before returning towards Ormond via Kangaroo Rd, forming a circular loop, while the rest appear to have returned to Ormond via Hughesdale. At peak times buses continued to operate Elsternwick – Ormond – Oakleigh (omitting Chadstone).
On 28/8/1982 627 was linked with majority of 620, which Camden had purchased from Casey’s Coaches on 1/11/1981. The result was a convoluted Elsternwick – Ormond – Oakleigh – Chadstone – Carnegie – McKinnon service, with an occasional deviation operating up most of Darling Rd.
ROUTE 628 CAULFIELD – MOORABBIN via Jasper Rd
This route was started in October 1928 as the 62A, Caulfield to Ormond via Grange Rd, by J. Lawless and it was sold to Laidlaw Bros. in 1932. It passed to the Fiske Bros who operated two Grummit bodied Fords and Grummit bodied Reo on the services, in the 1950s.
On 1 January 1953, the route was linked to the 97A under the proprietorship of E. Lishman and O. Shave to run St Kilda – Caulfield – Ormond but the merger did not last; in August 1953 Lishman was the sole operator of 62A. Lishman died in 1954 and the service was sold to G. Rosevear in October 1955. J. Close and W. Brown took over the route in May 1956 and by 1961 the partnership had become J. Close and E. Davidson.
Extension to Bentleigh via Jasper Rd was granted in May 1963 when the service was being run by G.F. & P.G. Elston and it passed to Southland Bus Service in 1965. The service was abandoned on 1 May 1970 but was reopened by J & D Donnelly, trading as Ambassador Coaches.
An application to extend the service to Southland Shopping Centre was held in 1971 when the route was renumbered 628 but an extension to Moorabbin Station only was given in September 1972. The route was finally abandoned on 24 August 1973, running just hourly on its demise. Ambassador used SB Bedfords with curtains at the window and issued the paper punch tickets distributed by the Bus Sales organization.
ROUTE 630 ELWOOD BEACH – MONASH UNIVERSITY via North Rd
30A was one of the original routes of 1925 and ran from North Road Beach to Ormond and from February 1925 it was rerouted by Gardenvale Station. In 1930 the operator was J. Cartin and by 1939 it had passed to the Fiske Bros.
Meanwhile, route 86A had been opened from Ormond Station to East Oakleigh Station (now Huntingdale) in December 1934 only to close in December 1938. It reopened in April 1939 but was finally closed on 24 April 1941.
In June 1941 the 30A was extended to Koornang Rd, then to Warrigal Rd and in November 1945 to East Oakleigh Station. March 1947 saw K. Smith as the operator and in 1949 it was taken over by Sinclair & Sons. At the eastern end the terminus became Dandenong Road in August 1949 and Monash University in February 1961. Meanwhile, at the western end of the service, the terminus was Elwood Beach from February 1954. The route was renumbered 630 in 1971.
ROUTE 631 MITCHAM – GLEN WAVERLEY – MONASH UNIVERSITY – SOUTHLAND
Quinces’ Route 631 was operating by 27 December 1989. It provided a six-day-a-week half-hourly timetable between Mitcham and Southland via Vermont South, Wantirna, Glen Waverley, Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Clarinda and Heatherton, zig-zagging through each of the suburbs to incorporate previously unserved pockets. Notably, evening services ran until 2145 between Monash University and Southland.
ROUTE 632 OAKLEIGH – MIDDLE BRIGHTON
32A North Brighton Station to East Brighton was one of the original routes in January 1925 and in June of that year it was extended to Bentleigh Station. It was further extended in October 1932 to East Bentleigh and in June 1941 it grew at both ends to operate from Oakleigh to Middle Brighton. In 1952 the operator was Arrow Motor Service (Suhr) and by 1962 this had become Dendy Omnibuses & L. Suhr. In 1967 the operators were shown as Dendy Omnibuses and Landsford Motors (Suhr) and by 1970 it had become Landsford Motors only.
The route was renumbered 632 in 1971 and the operators changed their trading name to Bentleigh Bus Lines in 1975. The route passed to Ventura Motors on 27 April 1987 when Bentleigh Bus Lines was sold to Ventura.
ROUTE 633 BENTLEIGH – WARRIGAL RD SOUTH OAKLEIGH
Suhr began this route in December 1953, which ran over 32A for most of its length but continued along Centre Rd to the Warrigal Rd intersection. When it was renumbered 633 in 1971, the operator was shown as Landsford Motors. The trading name changed to Bentleigh Bus Lines in 1975 and it passed to Ventura Motors on 27 April 1987.
ROUTE 634 MIDDLE BRIGHTON – MONASH UNIVERSITY – FERNTREE GULLY – CROYDON – LILYDALE (METLINK)
Route 634 was introduced by Quince’s on 18 July 1988, initially running between Middle Brighton & Monash University via Centre Rd & Clayton. On weekdays and Saturday mornings, alternate trips continued from Clayton on a branch to First St, East Clayton rather than serve Monash University.
Although the route introduced the first east-west connection along Centre Rd between Brighton and Clayton, the route ran over the top of numerous existing Ventura services including Route 632 (Middle Brighton – Oakleigh), 633 (Bentleigh – Warrigal Rd, South Oakleigh), 703 (Clayton – Blackburn), 704 (Oakleigh – East Clayton) & 733 (Oakleigh – Box Hll).
The East Clayton branch was closed by 11 September 1989 with Route 634 extended onto Lilydale via Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre, Stud Park Shopping Centre, Rowville, Ferntree Gully, Boronia, Croydon and Chirnside Park Shopping Centre forming the first “Metlink” cross-town service as proposed in the 1980s Met Plan. The extended route duplicated much of Invicta’s Routes 671 (Croydon – Chirnside Park) & 692 (Boronia – Waverley Gardens) along with Ventura’s 755 (Croydon – Mountain Gate).
ROUTE 635 BENTLEIGH – BIGNELL RD, EAST BENTLEIGH
A local service from Bentleigh to South Bentleigh (Talbot Avenue), returning as a loop via Patterson Road was started as service 120A in July 1947. It was extended from Bentleigh to Tucker Rd in June 1950 and by 1952 it was operated by L. Suhr who had two vehicles licensed for the service. The service was extended further towards East Bentleigh in March 1953 when the route reached Mawby Rd.
In the late 1950s L. T. Suhr operated a fleet of mainly Bedford buses but he also had two Fords, a Vulcan, a Leyland Comet and three Freighter Lawton Monobuses fitted with Commer TS3 2 stroke diesel engines.
The route was operating as Talbot Ave – Bentleigh – East Bentleigh in 1960 and the operators were N. Smith & L. T. Suhr. It was extended to Bignell Rd in January 1964 and workers trips to Cochranes Road, East Moorabbin were started in January 1970.
The service was renumbered 635 in 1971 and in the early 1970s it was altered to run Bentleigh to Bignell Rd with certain trips diverted by Talbot Avenue. The trading name changed to Bentleigh Bus Lines in 1975 and the route passed to Ventura Motors on 27 April 1987.
ROUTE 636 CHADSTONE – HUGHESDALE – EAST BENTLEIGH – SOUTHLAND
The section of the route between what was to become Chadstone to North Rd dates from September 1935 when the 88A service began from East Malvern Station to North Road. It was extended via Mackie and Centre Roads to East Bentleigh in December 1936 but the route closed in December 1938. The service reopened as East Malvern Station to Clayton in August 1939 but closed again in May 1941.
After the War, the 88A rose again as East Malvern Station to North Rd operated by J. Wallace. He sold the run to R. Connell who abandoned the route on 13 July 1951. E. Davies Bus Service was the next operator to try to make the service pay when he ran from Chadstone via Hughesdale to North Rd in July 1953. The run was altered to start at Holmesglen in November 1953, but it ceased again on 8 March 1954.
Hughesdale Chamber of Commerce recommenced the service in April 1954 and altered the route in June 1954 back to East Malvern to North Rd. R. White took over the service and, using two seven seat buses, operated a half hour headway service over the route from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. There were three fare sections with fares 4d, 8d and a through fare of 1/-. He took on R. Heywood as a partner in November 1954. White withdrew from the partnership in March 1953 and by 1958, the terminus had become the Darling Road Tram Terminus.
In 1960 the route had reverted to East Malvern Station to North Road but in 1961 the section between East Malvern and Chadstone Shopping Centre was abandoned (now covered by Driver’s extended 81A Camberwell – Glen Iris – Chadstone service). On 9 May 1970 the service was sold to Smith & Suhr and it was renumbered 636 in 1971. The trading name was altered to Bentleigh Bus Lines in 1975.
The route was revised on 15 November 1982 as part of the pilot Neighbourhood scheme when it was extended to Southland Shopping Centre over the Southland to Bentleigh 652 service of Southland Bus Service who also shared in the operation of the new through service.
Bentleigh Bus Lines sold their half of the service to Ventura Motors on 27 April 1987. Ventura and Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) were joint operators of the service from 30/6/1988 after Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) took over Southland B.S.
ROUTE 638 HAMPTON – MOORABBIN via Ludstone St & Wickham Rd
This service began as the 118A Bluff Road to Hampton via Ludstone St in 1947. The service apparently closed for a time in 1951 in a dispute over fare increases. The route was extended to Moorabbin in October 1952 and by then the operator M. C. Peeler who traded under the name of Hampton Red Bus.
Peeler operated a varied fleet in the 50s and 60s including three ex MMTB Reos, Federal, Ford, Bedford, Moonbuses and a couple of ex- Melbourne Brighton Internationals. Of course Hampton Red was noted for Fodens, the first of which, Peeler bought from a Brisbane operator.
The route was renumbered 638 in 1971 and was sold to Pilla in 1975. In 1976 Bono joined Pilla in a partnership.
ROUTE 639 HAMPTON – HIGHETT – SOUTHLAND via Ludstone St & Wickham Rd
Peeler began this service on 3 September 1968 as a branch of the 118A route along Ludstone St and Wickham Rd. It was renumbered 639 in 1971, was sold to Pilla in 1975 and passed to the partnership of Pilla and Bono in 1976.
ROUTE 641 HAMPTON – HIGHETT – SOUTHLAND via Highett Rd
ROUTE 642 HAMPTON – BLUFF RD HAMPTON EAST
The history of these two routes is intertwined. One of the original metropolitan routes of 1925 was 36A from Hampton Rail Station to Sargeant St via Thomas St and it was extended to Holzer St in October 1929. The service was extended to Highett Rail Station in February 1931 when the operator was W. G. Hutchison but it was soon discontinued. The route was again extended to Highett in December 1948.
Route 83A was started by W. G. Hutchison in December 1934 as Hampton to Bluff Rd and Highett. The Bluff Rd to Highett section was added to the 36A in December 1948 and the 83A ran from Hampton to Moorabbin via Thomas St and Wickham Rd.
On 13 August 1951 Hutchison abandoned the 83A route as uneconomical, with portions of it covered by other operators on a temporary basis. Hutchison reopened the route to operate from Hampton Station to Bluff Rd in January 1953 and in May 1957 it was again extended to Moorabbin. By 1959 Hutchison was operating as Hampton Green Bus Lines and by 1961 he had cut the route back to Bluff Rd again.
From 1965 both the Hampton to Highett and the Hampton to Bluff Rd services were regarded as route 36A. The ownership of Hampton Green Bus Lines changed several times in the 60s and in 1972 the legal owner was given as Poona Catering Company.
The Highett service was extended to Southland Shopping Centre on 3 September 1968. In 1971 the routes were renumbered: the Hampton – Highett – Southland service to 641 and the Hampton – Bluff Rd to 642. The two routes were combined in 1974 as the Hampton – Highett – Southland 641 service with part of the old 642 losing its service.
ROUTE 642 (2ND) MOORABBIN – BLACK ROCK – MENTONE – SOUTHLAND
Quinces introduced a new 642 service on 9/10/1989 operating Moorabbin – Black Rock – Mentone – Southland. It was the first north-south route along most of Bluff Rd, providing a direct Moorabbin – Black Rock connection, as well as improving access to Sandringham Hospital from both Moorabbin and Mentone. It did however duplicate 638 between Moorabbin & Wickham Rd, as well as a large portion of 645 along Balcombe Rd.
ROUTE 644 MIDDLE BRIGHTON – SANDRINGHAM – CHELTENHAM – SOUTHLAND via Bay Rd
This route started in June 1925 as Sandringham to Bluff Rd via Bay Rd. It was extended to Bluff and Highett Rds in December 1929 and in September 1931 an additional service was started from Sandringham to Cheltenham. By August 1937 a further service numbered 43A was operating from Sandringham Station to Cheltenham Cemetery.
In April 1946 the operator was F. Barton of 21 Arthur Avenue, Brighton Beach who traded as Bay Road Motor Services. He ran four buses on the service including the Federal JT 877 which is now preserved. A weekend service operating at this time was a Park Road, Reserve Road loop. In February 1947 the service had passed to R. Morarty and in 1953 he added Molan as a partner. In May 1956 when the main route was altered to run via Jack Rd, the Morarty and Molan partnership was trading as Sandringham Bus Service.
The branch to Highett and Bluff Rds was altered to run via Abbott St in June 1962 and by then the services were run by Allnut, trading as Sandringham Bus Company. The route was extended to Southland when the shopping centre opened on 3 September 1968 and it was renumbered 644 in 1971.
An extension from Sandringham to Middle Brighton dates from 15 November 1982, through areas briefly served by a failed extension of Moonee Valley B.L.’s 618 in 1973 and 1974.
ROUTE 645 SANDRINGHAM – MENTONE – CHELTENHAM – SOUTHLAND
On 8 September 1931 an unnumbered country route began between Black Rock and Mentone. In 1936 the operator was A. M. Glance and the route was extended to Sandringham Station on 4 December 1944. The route was sold to A. Lewis in January 1946 but the section from Black Rock to Sandringham ceased on 13 May 1946. The service was sold to Currer who traded as Black Rock Bus Service in November 1949.
The route was numbered 217A in 1954 when it was classified as a metropolitan route and on 1 July 1957 it was extended again to Sandringham Station as the 216A, around seven months after the Railway Tram between Black Rock and Sandringham had closed. The operator, C. Currer, then began trading as Sandringham – Mentone Bus Lines. The service was extended to Southland on 3 September 1968 and passed to Sandringham Bus Company on 1 July 1970.
It was renumbered 645 in 1971 and it also passed back to Currer in that year. Southland Bus Service took over the service on 26 September 1977 and by 1983 the service had been diverted to double-back on itself along Balcombe Rd to operate via Cheltenham Station.
ROUTE 646 MENTONE – BLACK ROCK via Beach Rd
A diversion of the 217A was started by Currer on 1 July 1957 to run Mentone- Beaumaris- Black Rock and while this route kept the number 217A, the trunk route (see above) was numbered 216A. The route ran via Charman and Beach Rds.
When it was renumbered in 1971 the service was down to one trip per day at school times. It was sold to Sandringham Bus Company on 1 July 1970 but passed back to Currer in 1971 and went to Southland Bus Service on 26 September 1977. The service was abandoned about 1981.
ROUTE 648 CHELTENHAM – SOUTHLAND – MENTONE
This route dates from 6 February 1948 when Cunningham, Brown and Rutzou extended their Mordialloc to Mentone route through to Cheltenham Station. In September 1950 O. J. Bridges had joined the partnership and by November that year the service was run by Cunningham and Bridges trading as Mentone Bus Lines. The history of the route becomes confused. The route was sold to C. Currer’s Black Rock Bus Service in February 1952 by Green Bus Lines which consisted of E. Staunton, P. Quinlan, F. Storer and Pickering in a partnership.
In February 1954 the service was taken over by Cunningham and Rutzou who traded as Blue and Silver Bus Lines. They integrated the service as part of the 204A and the service was diverted via Southland when it opened on 3 September 1968. It was renumbered 648 in 1971 and passed to Sandringham Bus Company on 12 August 1986.
ROUTE 649 SOUTHLAND – MENTONE – MORDIALLOC via Mordialloc East
A service from Mentone to Mordialloc using a 19 seat bus was started on 27 May 1946 by Cunningham and Brown. By 1949 Rutzou had joined the partnership and in 1950 the operator was Mentone Bus Lines, run by Cunningham and O. J. Bridges. Diversions around Parkdale date from 1953. In February 1954 Mentone Bus Lines, run by Cunningham, Brown and Rutzou sold out to Blue and Silver Bus Lines run by Cunningham and Rutzou who numbered the service 204A.
It was extended from Mentone to Southland on 3 September 1968 and renumbered 649 in 1971. It was sold to Allnut trading as Sandringham Bus Company on 12 August 1986.
ROUTE 652 SOUTHLAND – BEAUMARIS
A country route from Cheltenham to Beaumaris had been established by 1933 and in January 1946 the operator was J.M. , W.M. and L.J. Staunton who traded as Green Bus Lines. By February 1948 the route had been extended to Heatherton Sanitorium and the partners in Green Bus Lines E. A. Staunton, R.D.C. Plane, P.J. Quinlan and F.R. Storer. A Mr. Pickering replaced Mr. Plane in October 1949. The service was sold to Currer, trading as Black Rock Bus Service on 28 November 1951 and it was numbered 215A in June 1954.
The Cheltenham to Heatherton Sanatorium section was abandoned on 13 November 1955 and by 1959 the service had passed to G. Elston who operated a mixed fleet on his services. The vehicles included a couple of G.M.Cs, two Albions, a Morris Commercial and two Reos.
A loop service was introduced via Weatherall Road in June 1965. The route was extended from Cheltenham to East Bentleigh in November 1969 and it was renumbered 652 in 1971. The route was cut back to operate as Southland to Beaumaris in the rationalization of the then new Moorabbin Neighbourhood on 15th November 1982.
ROUTE 653 MOORABBIN – BEAUMARIS
This number was allocated in 1971 for some trips which were made from Beaumaris to Moorabbin via Southland over the 215A and 218A routes. This route ceased with the rationalisation of the Moorabbin Neighbourhood on 12 November 1982.
ROUTE 654 MOORABBIN – SOUTHLAND – CLAYTON – HEATHERTON RD CLAYTON SOUTH
A route from Moorabbin to Heatherton Sanatorium was started in the 1930s. It passed from G. Ziino to G. Elston in September 1946 along with 4 bus licenses. A service from Clayton to Clayton South was started in June 1953 to service the expanding industrial estate and it was numbered 218A in 1954. A local service was tried in November 1958 from Highett to Cavanagh St and by this time some trips on the Moorabbin to Heatherton Sanatorium service deviated via Cheltenham Station. The through Moorabbin to Clayton service was operating by 1962 as service 218A.
When the route was sold to Southland Bus Service in June 1965 the diversion to Cheltenham had ceased. The service was diverted to the new Southland shopping complex on 3 September 1968 and it was renumbered 654 in 1971. It was extended to Westall Station in September 1972 and onto Heatherton Rd & Westall Rd, Clayton South effective 9 June 1987. Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) took over Southland B.S. on 30/6/1988.
ROUTE 655 CHADSTONE – MURRUMBEENA – EAST BENTLEIGH – SOUTHLAND
The route began as 77A Darling Road Tram Terminus – North Road Murrumbeena in 12/1931. For a period dating from 4/1933 it extended on Sunday mornings to St. Kilda Beach. Cutback from North Rd to Dalny Rd from 6/1941 till 1/1951. In 1952 the operator was Jenners Milk transport, who sold to Murrumbeena B.S. 4/1954. An extension to East Bentleigh via East Boundary Road during 1954 was short-lived.
The run closed 5/8/1955 but resumed the following month as Murrumbeena Station – Blenheim St by Beauville B.S. (Petfield & Stokes).
By 1957 T. Jones had taken over, and by 1959 had extended to Stockdale Ave, with a shopper extension to Carnegie at the other end. Jones then traded as Murrumbeena B.S. and in 1961 extended to South Rd, and in 1963 to Chesterville Rd. With the opening of Chadstone Shopping Centre in October 1960 the route was extended north to serve it.
The final extension to Southland Shopping Centre began 1970 by which time T. Jones traded as Southland B.S.. The route was renumbered 655 in 1971. Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) took over Southland B.S. on 30/6/1988.
ROUTE 656 MOORABBIN – CLAYTON via South Rd & Bourke Rd
Commenced 7/1954 as 132A, Moorabbin – Chesterville Rd via South Rd, operated by Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service. Further extended to Bignell Rd 1955 and by 1961 to Warrigal Rd. Sold to Murrumbeena B.S. in 1961, which later used the title South Road B.L. for the run, although later absorbed into Southland B.S.
Renumbered 656 in 1971 it went onto Heatherton 8/1971, then to Southland, in a round about way, 11/1971. The route was quite altered 7/12/1981 to become Moorabbin – Warrigal Rd – Clayton absorbing route 657. Route operated by Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) since 30/6/1988.
ROUTE 657 CLAYTON – SOUTH CLAYTON
Started by Southland B.S. 11/12/1978, it was absorbed by route 656 on 7/12/1981.
ROUTE 663 RINGWOOD – BAYSWATER & CANTERBURY RDS BAYSWATER
Ringwood B.S. began a run on 30/10/1944 from Ringwood to Alexander Road, East Ringwood. By 1951 it went on to Bayswater and Canterbury Roads, and in 5/1952 it was sold to C. Usher, who later traded as Croydon B.S.
It was eventually given the number 247A and by 1962 went through to Dorset Rd. In 2/1967 was altered to run via East Ringwood Station and linked through to Croydon. For a time during 1969 some trips ran via Dorset Road.
Renumbered 663 in 1971, it passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972. As from 8/11/1977 it reverted to Ringwood – Bayswater & Canterbury Rds, the remaining section being covered by a new 664 route. The 663 was extended to Canterbury Gardens 18/12/1978 until 26/9/1980. The route was withdrawn 5/12/1981 when a new 666 replaced most of the route.
ROUTE 664 MOOROOLBARK – CROYDON – BAYSWATER – KNOX CITY
A ‘country service’ from Croydon to Bayswater had begun at an unknown date, and in 12/1947 was sold from Croydon B.S. (Wilson) to C. Usher. It was later allocated Route 243A and then became 664 in 1971. Invicta United B.L. took over on 1/2/1972 but the route closed 8/4/1974.
Invicta re-established it on 8/11/1977 as Croydon – Bayswater – Knox City and at the other end it was extended to Mooroolbark on 6/7/1987, incorporating part of 673.
ROUTE 665 RINGWOOD – DANDENONG
Begun as Ringwood – Stud Rd at an unknown date by Ringwood B.S. (Stewart) and cut back to Wantirna 11/1947. Was given number 248A in the 50s and sold to Croydon B.S. during this period.
Renumbered 665 in 1971, then to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972. Extended to Dandenong on 8/4/1974 incorporating the Scoresby – Dandenong section of 692.
ROUTE 666 (1ST) RINGWOOD – DANDENONG
Some trips of the 665 deviated via Heywood Street in South Ringwood and in the 1971 renumbering these were shown as 666. Closed 14/5/1979.
ROUTE 666 (2ND) RINGWOOD CIRCUIT SERVICE
Opened 7/12/1981 by Invicta B.L. but taken over by M.T.A 27/10/84 and renumbered 366, 367 and expanded to serve Croydon Hills and Croydon incorporating parts of the former 668 & 669.
ROUTE 667 RINGWOOD – RINGWOOD EAST
This service only operated from 1971 and was virtually a branch of the 663. It was begun by Croydon B.S. and closed on 1/2/1972. It was effectively replaced by route 668 (see below).
ROUTE 668 RINGWOOD – RINGWOOD EAST – CROYDON
Croydon B.S. began a route from Ringwood – Armstrong Rd via Great Ryrie St in 1958 and it was allocated 262A. Re-numbered 668 in 1971 it was sold to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972, and on that date was altered to run as Ringwood – East Ringwood – Croydon, absorbing the routes 667 and 669. Closed 2/1975.
ROUTE 669 RINGWOOD – CROYDON via Plymouth Rd
First appears on the May 1970 timetable and ran as Ringwood – Mullum Mullum Rd -Burnt Bridge – Plymouth Rd – Croydon. It was given the number 669 in 1971 but ceased on 1/2/1972, being replaced by the routes 667 & 668.
ROUTE 670 RINGWOOD – CROYDON via Maroondah Hwy
A route from Ringwood-Burnt Bridge was recorded in 1947, being operated by Ringwood B.S. (Stewart). Then in 7/1949 C. Usher started up Croydon – Murray Road. Another service of Ringwood B.S. was Ringwood – Brysons Rd which was running 8/1951.
Usher took over the routes from Ringwood, and formed a Ringwood – Croydon run. He formed Croydon B.S. in 1955 and this route was soon renumbered 245A. The service to Brysons Rd was 246A and 250A was also allocated for Ringwood –Croydon in the early 1960s, it may have had a minor route variation.
Some route rationalisation in May 1970 saw the route extended to Lilydale via North Croydon over route 239A and the southern part of Chrinside Park (later part of Area 1 TeleBus) and in 1971 Ringwood – Croydon – Lilydale was renumbered 670. Croydon B.S. sold to Invicta United B.L. on 1/2/1972, and then on 10/9/1973 the route was cut back to Ringwood – Croydon.
ROUTE 671 CROYDON – NORTH CROYDON – CHIRNSIDE PARK
The section from Croydon to North Croydon dates from 28/5/1936 when Croydon B.S. (Wilson) commenced. In 1938 he was also running to Bushy Park. He sold to C. Usher 12/1947 who formed Croydon B.S. 3/1955. The route was allocated 239A soon after.
In the meantime Wilson had started (by 1/1944) a route from Croydon – Dorset Road via Golf Links. It too passed to C. Usher 12/1947, and to Croydon B.S. 3/1955, and allocated route 241A.
By the time of the 1971 renumbering, 671 was given to Croydon – North Croydon, with some trips deviating via Golf Links. It was sold to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972, and was extended to Chirnside Park on 24/9/1979.
ROUTE 672 CROYDON – WONGA PARK – CHIRNSIDE PARK
An original route, Croydon – Wonga Park was numbered Country Route 20 in 4/1928. By 1962 the operator was A. Turner, who sold to Croydon B.S. in 1968, thence to Invicta United B.L.1/2/1972.
The service ceased as from 4/2/1974, although school day journeys continued to operate as part of route 671. However, 672 resumed on 6/7/1987 as Croydon – Wonga Park – Chirnside Park by Croydon B.S.
ROUTE 673 MOOROOLBARK – CHIRNSIDE PARK
This service was Croydon – Bickleigh Vale and Belfast Road, which was running by 1944 and was sold from Wilson to C. Usher 11/1947, to Croydon B.S. 3/1955, then being given the route number 242A. By 1962 it also deviated to Pergaports (North Mooroolbark). Another deviation via Lincoln Rd began 3/1963, and by the late 1960s the route was described as Croydon – Mooroolbark – Belfast Rd.
It was extended to Lilydale 10/1969, and in 1971 was renumbered 673. Passed to Invicta United B.L. on 1/2/1972. The section between Chirnside Park Shops and Lilydale ceased 24/9/1979 (see route 679).
Then on 6/7/1987, the section Croydon – Mooroolbark went to route 664. The final remnant of the service ceased on 24/8/1987 replaced by Area 3 of the Telebus (on-demand) service.
ROUTE 674 MOOROOLBARK – CHIRNSIDE PARK
The service from Croydon – Mooroolbark via Lincoln Rd on 242A (from 3/1963, as shown in 673 history) was numbered 674 in 1971 renumbering, and when Invicta United B.L. took over 1/2/1972 it was extended to Manchester Estate. The route closed 2/1975 although limited trips on 673 still ran via Lincoln Rd.
A service from Mooroolbark via Manchester Rd to Chirnside Park started 24/9/1979 but was withdrawn 26/9/1980. Since 24/8/1987 the general area has been covered by Telebus (on demand) services.
ROUTE 675 MOOROOLBARK – BELLARA DR
In the 1971 renumbering, the service from Mooroolbark to Pergaports, which was of 242A (see route 673) was given the route number 675. However it ceased at the end of 1971, and was replaced by the 674 when it extended to Manchester Estate.
ROUTE 676 MOOROOLBARK – CHAUCER ST
With the 1971 renumbering, this number was given to a deviation in the Mooroolbark area of the 242A (see 673). However, as from 1/2/1972 these trips were absorbed into 673 (Croydon – Mooroolbark – Lilydale).
ROUTE 677 (1ST) RINGWOOD – CROYDON via Mt Dandenong Rd
This route started at an unknown time, but in 12/1947 it was sold from Ringwood B.S. to C. Usher. When Croydon B.S. was formed in 3/1955, this route was allocated 244A. A deviation via East Ringwood began in 2/1967. It was renumbered 677 in 1971, and passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972. However the route closed 10/9/1973.
ROUTE 677 (2ND) RINGWOOD – NORTH RINGWOOD (MULLUM MULLUM RD)
Opened 10/9/1973 by Invicta United B.L. and ceased 5/12/1981 being replaced by 666.
ROUTE 678 LILYDALE – MT EVELYN via Montrose Rd (Swansea Rd)
This had been an unnumbered country route, which in 7/1953 was operated by Adams & Williams as Lilydale – Mt Evelyn – Montrose. In the early 1960s it was only Lilydale – Mt Evelyn (Adams B.S.)
Adams sold to Croydon B.S. around 1979, and in 1971 the route was given the number 678. It passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972. The route closed 3/1974, being replaced by an extension of 680.
ROUTE 679 CHIRNSIDE PARK – LILYDALE – MT EVELYN – MONTROSE or MONBULK
A country route was licensed in 5/1928 as 74 Lilydale – Silvan. An extract for 7/1933 shows it as Lilydale and Croydon to Silvan, and in 2/1954 the route was sold from T. Burchall to R. Adams. By the early 60s it was back to Lilydale – Silvan. Croydon B.S. took over around 1970, and in 1971 it was given route number 679.
Passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972, and on 1/10/1973 was extended to Monbulk and Belgrave incorporating 696. However, it was short lived, and on 24/6/1974 resumed as Lilydale – Silvan, and the Belgrave – Monbulk portion resumed as 691.
The 679 was extended to Chirnside Park Shopping Centre on 24/9/1979 and was further altered on 29/10/1984 to run as Chirnside Park – Lilydale – Mt Evelyn – Montrose, with a branch operating between Mt Evelyn & Silvan. Selected trips on the Silvan branch were extended back to Monbulk from 6/7/1987.
ROUTE 680 LILYDALE – MONTROSE – RINGWOOD
An unnumbered route from Eastland – Mt Evelyn via Montrose began in 7/1968 by Croydon B.S. In the 1971 renumbering scheme it appeared as 680 Croydon – Mt. Evelyn. Passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972, and was extended from Mt Evelyn to Lilydale on 24/6/1974. It completely closed 2/1975.
The route reopened on 29/10/1984 as Lilydale – Montrose – Ringwood via Swansea Rd and Canterbury Rd.
ROUTE 683 MELBOURNE – LILYDALE – WARBURTON
A Victorian Railways service began in 1927 from Lilydale to Warburton and later in the year it went through to Flinders Street. In 1928 it was cut back to start from Croydon. It ceased on 19/5/1941.
The origin of the private service is uncertain, although it is understood to have been extended through from Lilydale to Melbourne during the post World War II restricted train service. It was always regarded as a country service, and has been operated by Martyrs for a very long time. With the increasing suburban sprawl to the Lilydale – Warburton corridor, the service was given route number 683 in July 1985.
ROUTE 684 MELBOURNE – LILYDALE – HEALESVILLE – EILDON
The original country routes of 1928 were 4 (Healesville – Alexandra), 5 (Healesville – Marysville), 33 (Healesville – Eildon Weir), followed in 11/1929 by 160 (Alexandra – Eildon Weir, then in 5/1930 Lilydale – Eildon Weir). These services developed into what was operated in later years by McKenzies Tourist Services as Melbourne – Healesville – Marysville – Alexandra – Eildon Weir. At one stage after the War it is understood that the Ansett organization was the operator as Healesville Road Services.
Bizarrely the service was allocated suburban route number 684 on 12/10/1987, possibly as metropolitan Met fares applied between Melbourne & Healesville.
ROUTE 685 LILYDALE – HEALESVILLE
This service began 15/12/80 as a “Rail Replacement Service” after train services to Healesville closed. It was operated on behalf of the Victorian Railways by McKenzies Tourist Service. It is now a ‘normal’ suburban service, and was allocated 685 from 12/10/1987.
ROUTE 688 CROYDON – MT DANDENONG (OLINDA)
An original country route of 1928, it was route 16. In November 1954 the operators were Fraser, Hunter and Blackley trading as Croydon-Mt Dandenong Passenger Service. Allocated 688 in 1971 the operating name later became Mt Dandenong Passenger Service.
ROUTE 689 CROYDON – MONTROSE
This service commenced 8/1963 as Croydon – Cambridge Road (Croydon – Mt Dandenong P.S.) and was unnumbered, although certain trips had been diverted off the main route for an unknown time. Extended to Montrose 9/1965 it was given the number 689 in 1971 and the operating name later became Mt Dandenong P.S.
ROUTE 690 CROYDON – KILSYTH – BORONIA
A further branch service of Croydon-Mt Dandenong P.S. was Croydon-Kilsyth (Canterbury Rd.) which was operating by 1963. In the 1971 renumbering it was allocated 690 and at this time it was a loop service Croydon – Kilsyth – Canterbury Rd – Dorset Rd – Croydon. The operating name later became Mt Dandenong P.S. On 2/7/1979 it was altered to run as Croydon – Kilsyth – Boronia.
ROUTE 691 (1ST) CHADSTONE – MOUNTAIN GATE
A new service begun on 1/3/1971 as Chadstone – Scoresby – Mountain Gate by U.S.B.L., as a variation of the trunk 693 service. The route passed to Invicta United B.L. on 1/2/1972, then back to U.S.B.L. on 3/9/1973 but ceased soon after.
ROUTE 691 (2ND) BELGRAVE – MONBULK
On 8/4/1974 the service from Belgrave to Monbulk which had been the 696 operated by Invicta United B.L. was renumbered 691. A rationalisation on 26/10/1984 saw Belgrave – Monbulk become part of route 693 Chadstone – Belgrave – Monbulk.
ROUTE 692 (1ST) DANDENONG – SCORESBY – BELGRAVE
As country route 222, it began as Frankston – Dandenong-Ferntree Gully in 10/1932. Argyll Motors (Sadler) sold the run to Woods B.S. in 4/1936, and by 5/1938 a service from Frankston – Dandenong – Croydon was added. By 1939 there was also a Frankston – Dandenong – Lysterfield service.
The Frankston – Ferntree Gully route was sold to Dyson’s Peninsula Motors in 7/1950. The section Dandenong to Ferntree Gully was then sold to U.S. Motors in 5/1956 and expanded to Belgrave. In the 1971 renumbering the route became 692 and passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972 and then back to U.S.B.L. 3/9/1973. It was closed on 8/4/1974 being replaced by 665 and 693.
ROUTE 692 (2ND) BORONIA – FENTREE GULLY – ROWVILLE – WAVERLEY GARDENS
A new route started as Boronia – Rowville by Croydon B.S., trading as Invicta, on 28/10/1984 to serve the growing suburbs of Ferntree Gully and Rowville. It followed the former Ventura 750 between Ferntree Gully and Boronia before incorporating part of the former Ventura 749 service in Ferntree Gully South. It was extended to Waverley Gardens Shopping Centre on 6/7/1987.
ROUTE 693 CHADSTONE – BELGRAVE – MONBULK
It has been recorded that M. Tamkard started running Upper Ferntree Gully – Belgrave in 1916 followed by other competitors. Then in 1921 the service was extended to Melbourne, run by Belgrave United Motor Service (Carter, Cayle, Hitchcock & Davies). In 1922 J. Kollosche also started an Upper Ferntree Gully –Belgrave for a short time. B.U.M.S. was renamed U.S.B.L. for obvious reasons in the 1920s although another operator, Amalgamated Motors was on the scene for a while.
On 13/9/1926 the Victorian Railways started running Melbourne – Belgrave road services and although it ceased early in 1928, Ferntree Gully – Belgrave (V.R.) reopened later that year.
On 12/12/1941 all V.R. services ceased, and U.S.B.L. changed to feeding all services from the Hills into Upper Ferntree Gully. When the electric rail service was extended from Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave on 19/2/1962 all local trips by U.S.B.L. ceased.
A new service from Belgrave to Chadstone was commenced in 5/1965 (in conjunction with Belgrave – Dandenong). Sold to Invicta United B.L. on 1/12/1972, it was extended through to Monbulk on 28/10/1984 absorbing 691.
ROUTE 694 BELGRAVE – OLINDA
This service started in the early 1960s by U.S. Motors. It received the route number 694 in 1971 and passed to Invicta United on 1/2/1972, only to go back to U.S.B.L. on 3/9/1973.
ROUTE 695 BELGRAVE – GEMBROOK
Country Route 7 began in 4/1928 as Upper Ferntree Gully – Emerald. This was followed by a Victorian Railways road service from 7/7/1930 as Upper Ferntree Gully – Gembrook.
By 1939 the private route was being operated through from Melbourne to Gembrook by U.S. Motors. On 18/4/1931 the V.R. service had been cut back to Cockatoo and closed altogether on 14/12/1941. From this date the U.S. service was altered to run as Upper Ferntree Gully – Gembrook, being shortened to start from Belgrave 19/2/1962 with the extension of electric trains.
Given the number 695 in 1971, it passed to Invicta United B.L. on 1/2/72, only to revert to U.S.B.L. on 3/9/73.
ROUTE 696 BELGRAVE – MONBULK
Commenced in 4/1928 as Country Route no. 6, Upper Ferntree Gully – Monbulk. Later that year Victorian Railways also started on the same route. U.S. Motors became the private operators during the 1930s and the V.R. service ceased 14/12/1941.
The U.S. route was shortened to start from Belgrave 19/2/1962 with the extension of electric trains and was given the number 696 in 1971. Passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972 then on 8/4/1974 the route was renumbered 691.
ROUTE 697 BELGRAVE – BELGRAVE SOUTH
This was country route from Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave South which was operating by 1933, and in 4/1937 was sold from W. Parkin to U.S. Motors. In 1939 the route operated through to Melbourne, but by 2/1942 had reverted back to Upper Ferntree Gully. For a period around 1952 it extended through to Narre Warren and Dandenong.
Cutback to start from Belgrave 19/2/1962 with the extension of electric trains, it was given the route number 697 in 1971. Passed to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972 then reverted to U.S.B.L. on 3/9/1973.
ROUTE 698 UPPER FERNTREE GULLY – OLINDA
Started in 1913 by Tutt & Starrie, then went through to Melbourne, and sold to U.S. Motors in 1925. It was licensed as country route 16 Upper Ferntree Gully – Olinda – Croydon in 4/1928. In 1935 the route was running as Upper Ferntree Gully – Olinda and in 1939 had been extended through to Melbourne.
Following the deal between V.R. and U.S. Motors it reverted to Upper Ferntree Gully – Olinda in 2/1942. Given route number 698 in 1971, it was sold to Invicta United B.L. 1/2/1972, then back to U.S.B.L. on 3/9/1973.
ROUTE 699 BELGRAVE – UPWEY
This was an unnumbered route run by H. Jewell as Panorama Bus Lines, which passed to D. Nugent and W. McKenzie on 1/4/1949, still as Panorama. It was extended to Upwey South and then sold in 8/1953 to Ashby and Jewell (still trading as Panorama). By 1961 Ashby had dropped out and in the early 60s the route went to U.S.B.L.
Given the number 699 in 1971 Invicta United BL took over 1/2/1972 but the route reverted to USBL 3/9/73.