Compiled by Graeme Cleak
Updated by Craig Halsall
The list below documents the various routes licensed in a three-mile radius of the Melbourne G.P.O. from 1925 to 1971.
Where appropriate, the history of these routes beyond the renumbering in 1971 until the widespread rationalisation of the bus network in 1991 is also included.
The dominance of government tramway system in inner Melbourne is hard to understate – of 40 routes licensed to private operators in the three-mile raidus prior to 1971, ten routes related to all-night buses. Meanwhile, just thirteen of the thirty daytime routes survived past 1971 and four more of these had closed by 1991.
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, particularly during 1923. 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, with patronage soon fragmenting.
The Motor Omnibus Act 1924 was introduced to regulate this form of transport, with licensing covering vehicles seating eight or more passengers. 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 (basic timetables) and determined the routes to be followed. They also oversaw vehicles to be used, stopping locations and fares.
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.
In the short, by the mid 1950s, a three-tier numbering system applied:
- Private bus routes that passed within 3 miles of the GPO. Melbourne began at 1.
- Private bus routes outside this radius but within 8 miles of the GPO had an ”A” suffix, beginning at 1A and ultimately ending at 156A.
- Private bus routes across the rapidly developing post-war outer suburbs became part of a further number series beginning at 200A – previously these had been unnumbered country routes.
Next, Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) began to adopt route numbers for their bus services from 1956 onwards. The range eventually stretching between 1 & 99 after the purchase of the Doncaster-based Withers empire in 1962 along with other local routes around Box Hill and Ringwood. Many numbers allocated were already used elsewhere by either private bus routes or MMTB’s own tram routes!
Passenger confusion was minimised with route numbers seldom displayed on vehicles or timetables, while system-wide network maps were yet to be published. Passengers were more likely to recognise their route by operator name, colour scheme and the key terminus for each service, which sometimes adorned the side of vehicles. Having said that, tickets issued in the 1950s and 1960s would often show which route they were issued aboard.
A fresh numbering system was implemented in 1971. Government bus routes were numbered in the 200 & 300 series with private bus routes generally allocated numbers in a clockwise fashion around the Port Phillip Bay arc. Many routes retain the same number today, while in other areas the original allocations have gradually evolved with network changes and outer suburban growth.
ROUTE 1 CITY (LA TROBE ST) – NORTH RD, GARDENVALE via Orrong Rd
Renumbered as Route 601 from 1971
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 many years it was multiple operated.
The 1925 route commenced at Melbourne Public Library via Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Commercial Rd, Malvern Rd, Orrong Rd, Clarence St, Kooyong Rd to North Rd and was basically unchanged until 29/10/1989 (when the route was diverted into Queen St). An extension to Brighton Cemetery ran on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
In 1927 the operators were J.Mitchell, J.Lacey, R.James, H.Laurie, Patterson & Varley, W.Waltho and G & L Peisitz.
n 1928 James, Laurie & Peisitz were replaced by N.Castle, G.Gianciarulo, E.Carlton, Jewell & W.McGill.
Operators in 1929 were now Gianciarulo, McGill,Waltho, R.Craddock, W.Turnham, W.Thomas, Carlton, O.Castle & S.Silverman.
Operators in 1930 were recorded as Glance, Smith, A.Windram, Silverman, Gianciarulo & Waltho. In 1931 Waltho was not shown, but he had returned in 1932 with A.Loveridge in place of Windram. In 1934 H.Page was added.
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.
Route 601 was taken over on 14/4/1985 by the MTA. Then on 29/10/1989, Route 601 was alerted to travel up Queen St rather than the long-standing Swanston St path.
With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 601 was through-routed into Route 220 to form Sunshine – Footscray – City – Gardenvale, operated by the Footscray Depot.
ROUTE 2 CITY (LA TROBE ST) – ELSTERNWICK – MIDDLE BRIGHTON BEACH via Williams Rd
Renumbered as Route 602 from 1971
Another run of 1925 (City – Middle Brighton Beach) was allocated Route 2, operated by Gray Motors.
In 1925 the route was described as commencing at Melbourne Public Library via Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Commercial Rd, Malvern Rd, Williams Rd, Hotham Rd, New St, Park St to St Kilda St, Brighton. Like adjoining Route 1, this was unchanged until the eighties.
Sold to Melbourne Suburban Buses in 1926, and in 1927 was sold to N.Schwarz, then in 1928 to L & G Page and Sippell.
In 1929 the Operators were L.Page, A.Loveridge, G.Locco & J.Simpson. In 1930 G.May & T.Bell were added. W.Cleland was added in 1931, then by 1932 Loveridge was out.
The route was cut back to a tram feeder during the Second War, then fully restored in 10/1945.
In 1952 the Operators were May, Smith, Locco, Page, Cleeland & Bell. Then by 1954 they were P & S.May, R & C May, L. Page, W. Cleeland G.Cianciarullo, Glance & Smith, J & A.Silverman, S.Dodds and T. Bell. The independent operators formed Melbourne Brighton B.L. in 7/1954.
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. Then on 29/10/1989, Route 601 was alerted to travel up Queen St rather than the long-standing Swanston St path.
With the closure of Elwood Depot on 28/12/1993, Route 602 was through-routed into Route 216 & 219 at the City end, forming Route 216 Deer Park West – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach & 219 Sunshine Park – Sunshine – Footscray – City – Middle Brighton Beach, with both routes operated by Footscray Depot. Saturday services after 16:00 operated right through from Brighton Beach to Melton, a journey of over 60km!
ROUTE 3 CITY – GARDENVALE via Alma Rd & Kooyong Rd
First licensed 1/1925, ran via St Kilda Rd. Alma Rd and Kooyong Rd to North Rd, operated by TRAK Buses. On Saturday afternoon and Sundays it extended to Brighton Cemetery (corner Hawthorn Road). Closed 12/1925.
City services would again serve the southern end of Kooyong Rd from November 1946 as Route 33, today’s Route 605.
ROUTE 4 CITY – CARNEGIE
Had been route 8 of Kintrak Bus Company. First licensed 1/1925 and ran via St Kilda Rd, Inkerman Rd, Normanby Rd and Dandenong Rd to Koornang Rd. Operators were Black & White Motors, K. Forrester & Mulcahy B.S.. At night and weekends it diverted via Fitzroy St. Upper Esplanade and Carlisle St in St Kilda.
In 1926 Operators were Black & White BS, W. McGill, Commercial Vehicles Carlton, Jewell, S. Ryvitch, C & J Thomas, T. Owen & G. Cianciarullo. Then in 1927 Operators were Jewell, Ryvitch, Thomas, C. Webster, L. Segal, L. Hunt & F. Parkinson.
ROUTE 5 CITY – ORMOND
Had previously been old Route 1 of the Melbourne General Omnibus Company. First licensed 1/1925 and ran via St Kilda Rd, Brighton Rd, Glen Eira Rd, Booran Rd and North Rd to Ormond Railway Station. It closed in 12/1925.
ROUTE 6 CITY (BOURKE ST) – WEST HEIDELBERG via Clifton Hill & Ivanhoe
First licensed 1/1925 to operator F. Stevens. Route was from Bourke St via Russell St, Lonsdale St. Exhibition St, Rathdowne St, Neil St, Alexandra Pde, Hoddle St, Heidelberg Rd, Grange Rd. Livingstone St to Ivanhoe Railway Station; then Banksia St, Bell St and Dresden St to West Heidelberg Post Office. Closed 12/1925.
ROUTE 7 CITY (FLINDERS ST) – VICTORIA DOCK
Renumbered as Route 400 from 1971
First licensed as 7 on 28/1/1925, operators were A.Blunt, H.Kemp & P.Burgin. In 1926 A.Cook & W.Winter replaced Blunt & Burgin, Then in 1934 Winter was replaced by E.Goldstein & A.Gibbs.
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 operated to North Wharf at times.
ROUTE 8 FOOTSCRAY – CITY – ST KILDA
First licensed in 1/1925. Operators were A.Press & Blue Line Motors. Route was via Footscray Rd, Dynon Rd, Hawke St, Victoria St, Swanston St and St Kilda Rd terminating at Luna Park, St Kilda. In 1926 the Operators were A.Hart, C.Webster & Cudlipp Motors.
ROUTE 9 CITY – EAST HAWTHORN
Licensed 1/1925 as City – Hawthorn, commencing in front of the Public Library and travelling via Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Toorak Rd to Burke Rd. Operators were A.Withers (Pioneer Tourist Coaches) & Games Motors.
In 3/1925 it was extended via Elizabeth St, Silver St, Parsley St, Milton St, Tooronga Rd, Malvern Rd, and Burke Rd to Toorak Rd but subsequently closed in 1/1926.
ROUTE 10 HAWTHORN BRIDGE – CAMBERWELL JUNCTION
Renumbered as Route 608 from 1971
Another original route of 1925, Route 10 was Hawthorn Bridge – Camberwell Junction via Burwood Rd, operated by C.Noden.
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 on 10/12/1928 and regained Route No. 10.
Operators in 1930 were Noden & Jeffrey, but Noden left in 1931, being replaced in 1932 by Hoare. In 1934 Maroney & Davidson were added, then in 9/1937 they were trading as ‘Route 10 Bus Service’.
This route was cutback to Hawthorn Stationn 6/1939, being fully restored to Hawthorn Bridge in 10/1945. The operator in 1946 was L.Hoare t/as Route 10 B.S, in 1951 was Hoare & Sons. In 12/1952 the partners in Route 10 B.S. were Hoare and Davidson.
On 10/1/1967 the run was sold to V. Haoust. As part of the renumbering in 1971 the route became 608. Haoust later traded as Hawthorn Bus Service, which later became Crown Coaches.
ROUTE 11 VICTORIA BRIDGE – BOX HILL
Licensed 1/1925 operating via Barkers Rd, Mont Albert Rd, Elgar Rd and Carrington St to Box Hill Station, Operator Melbourne Suburban Buses. Closed 12/1926.
ROUTE 12 VICTORIA BRIDGE – NORTH KEW
Licensed 1/1925. Route ran via Barkers Rd. High St, Princess St, Willsmere St, Pakington St and Eglington St, operated by J.Lane. Then in 1926 operators were noted as A.Webb & D.Boyd. Closed 12/1929.
ROUTE 13 CITY (SPENCER ST) – RESERVOIR
Licensed 1/1925. Route departed Spencer St travelling via Little Collins St, King St, Bourke St, Nicholson St, Gertrude St, Smith St, Queens Pde and High St. Remarkably this ran over the Northcote cable tram route for most of the journey, along with running alongside the rail corridor north of Clifton Hill!
It must have been a frequent service, the operators were J. Martin, H. Habring, W. Dyke, N. Castles, T. Owens, L & S.Beckett, J & C. Thomas, F. Mulholland, H. Duncan, N. Schwartz, F. Zinno, A. Warhaft, S. Michaels, J. Cianciarullo, S. Murch, A. Jewell, E. Carlton, V. O’Bree, Fawcett Bros, N. Liddicoat & F. Parkinson.
It closed on 12/1925 but re-opened 1/1926 with operators J. Martin, W. Dyke, F. Mulholland, H. Duncan, S. Michaels, J. Cianciarullo, S. Murch, V. O’Bree, Fawcett Bros, N. Liddicoat, F. Parkinson, Albion Motors, G. Comparin, J. Locco, E. Britton, Rankin & Peisitz.
In 1927 it was recorded that Albion Motors & Rankin were gone, replaced by Ronaldson Bros, and Richardson & Sons, before the route closed permanently in 1/1928.
ROUTE 14 CITY (SPENCER ST) – ST KILDA
Commenced 2/1925 running from Spring St via Collins St, Market St, Queens Bridge, City Rd, Clarendon St, Albert Rd, Kerfredli Rd, Page St, Park St, Cowderoy St and Park St to Fitzroy St.
It closed 12/1925 being substantially replaced by the South Melbourne and St Kilda Beach electric tram which had commenced 31/10/1925.
ROUTE 15 HAWTHORN BRIDGE – BOX HILL SOUTH
Opened in 6/1925. Ran via Burwood Rd, Auburn Rd, Rathmines St and Canterbury Rd to Station St.
Closure is noted at 12/1925 and converted to a Motor Cab route (seven seat vehicles) as it much later became 129A Richmond – Canterbury.
ROUTE 16 QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET – KENSINGTON
Began 9/1925. Route departed Victoria St via Cobden St, Queensberry St, Courtney St, Arden St, Macaulay Rd and Boundary Rd, Barwise St, Racecourse Rd. Market St and McCracken St to Epsom Rd.
In 1925 the service ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8am to 1.30pm and on Friday from 12:30pm to 9:30pm to suit the market opening times. Basically the same times still applied in 1946. In 1926 the Operator was A. Callaghan.
At closure in late 1951 the timetable was half-hourly each Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm; 15 mins on Friday from 9am to 6pm and 30 mins on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm.
ROUTE 17 NORTH RICHMOND – CLIFTON HILL – PARKVILLE – NORTH MELBOURNE
This route began 4/1926, operating from the Johnston St cable tram to Kew Railway Station via Studley Park Rd and Denmark St. operated by V. Webb. Altered to Kew Junction 8/1927.
It was extended in 5/1937 to operate as Kew Junction – Clifton Hill via Studley Park Rd, Johnston St, Trennery St. Groom St, Roseneath St, Hoddle St and Queens Pde to Wellington St returning via Turnbull St. At this time the operator was Webb Brothers.
On 29/12/1940 the MMTB bus service from the City to Collingwood was extended to Kew Junction and at this time Route 17 was changed to North Richmond Tram to Parkville. Soon extended in 4/1941 to Royal Melbourne Hospital via Flemington Rd.
This inner “horseshoe” route now departed Victoria St via Church St, Murray St, Albert St, Victoria Cres, Gipps St, Nicholson St, Johnston St, Trennery St, Groom St, Roseneath St, Hoddle St and Queens Pde to Clifton Hill. It then continued via Queens Pde, Alexandra Pde, Nicholson St, Princes St, Lygon St, College Cres, Park Dr and Flemington Rd to Royal Melbourne Hospital.
From 1/1947 the route reached North Melbourne via Wreckyn St, Courtney St, Arden St, Dryburgh St and Ireland St.
In 5/1952 the operators were L. Daldy and J. Merlo. Daldy dropped out in 7/1952 but in 11/1953 it was sold to L. Daldy & R. King. King dropped out 28/8/1955 and the route closed on 22/12/1955.
ROUTE 18 FLEMINGTON BRIDGE – CITY – LUNA PARK (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Presumably Melbourne’s first all night bus service, introduced in August 1926. travelling via Flemington Rd, Abbotsford St, Queensberry St, Errol St, Victoria St, Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Fitzroy St and The Esplanade on an hourly headway. The operator from 1928 onwards was A. Callaghan.
In 8/1934 it was extended to Hampton Station via Carlisle St, Balaclava Rd, Orrong Rd, Glen Eira Rd, Kooyong Rd, Point Nepean Rd (Nepean Hwy) and Hampton St.
Further extensions took place in 6/1935 so that the route became Essendon to Hampton or North Brighton. Route extension was via Haines St, Sheil St, Canning St, Macaulay Rd, Eastwood St, Racecourse Rd, Wellington Rd and Mount Alexander Rd to Fletcher St, Essendon. At the other end the new branch service ran via Carlisle St, Brighton Rd and New St to Bay St.
Further branches to Ascot Vale and Armadale started in 1/1936 running via Racecourse Rd and Epsom Rd to Maribyrnong Rd; and via Wellington St and Dandenong Rd to Wattletree Rd.
The Ascot Vale and Armadale branches ceased 12/1937, whilst St Kilda – Hampton ceased
11/1938. The route ultimately closed 9/1941 following the expansion of MMTB all night services that July.
ROUTE 19 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD – HEIDELBERG
Renumbered as Route 546 from 1971
In August 1926, Route 19 started as Clifton Hill – Heidelberg Repat Hospital. Extension over the Cable Tram route as far as Derby and Smith Sts, Fitzroy followed in April 1927. In 1929 Operators were J & H. Duncan. Final extension to Victoria Pde was occurred in May 1941, but some restrictions applied during the war and the full route did not resume until October 1945.
By 1952 H.Duncan was the operator who later that year began to trade as Duncan’s Green Bus Service. The route was cut back from Heidelberg Repat Hospital to Heidelberg Station on 2/4/1956. Renumbered 546 in 1971, it was sold to Reid B.S. on 4/10/1981.
ROUTE 20 COBURG – CITY – HAWTHORN BRIDGE (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Began 10/1928 as Coburg to Albert Park, running from Bell St via Sydney Rd, Elizabeth St, Flinders St, Market St, Queens Bridge, City Rd, Clarendon St, Park St, Montague St, Bridport St and Victoria St to Beaconsfield Pde.
It was varied in 2/1931 to operate to Hawthorn Bridge instead of Albert Park, turning at Flinders Street. The Operator in 1931 was F.Jeffrey, then in 1932 was J.Neeson.
Timetable as at 1/4/1946 saw Coburg departures at 12:05am, 12:30am and half-hourly to 2:30am and hourly to 4:30am. Hawthorn Bridge departures were at 12am, 12:35am, 1am, half hourly to 3am then 4am & 5am. On Sunday mornings service continued until 7.30am ex Coburg and 8am ex Hawthorn Bridge. The operator was Enterprise B.S.
The route closed on 1/1/1951 and it is intriguing to note this route parallelled all night tram services that had begun on the Coburg and East Kew lines on 14/2/1937!
ROUTE 21 CITY – BRUNSWICK (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Commenced 10/1929 running over Sydney Rd, paralleling Route 20 above. Closed 2/1951.
ROUTE 22 WESTGARTH – THORNBURY
Dates from 10/1929. (Heidelberg B.C.). Original route commenced at High St and travelled via Westgarth St, Victoria St, Hamilton St, Mansfield St and Station St; returning via Mansfield St, Hamilton St and Dundas St to High St. Operator in 1930 was W.Bindt.
It was extended to Thornbury Station on 2/1931 via Miller St and Ethel St, returning via Blythe St and High St, the Operators in 1931 were C.Booth & McGeary. In 1932 the Operator was McGeary, then in 1933 was Snell, Smith & Glance.
Route 22 was cut back from Thornbury Station to Thornbury Junction (Dundas and High Streets) in August 1941
By 9/1950 it was being operated by G. Duncan trading as Thornbury-Westgarth Bus Service.
Following the opening of the M&MTB bus service from City to West Heidelberg on 20/4/1956, running over most of the route, Route 22 closed in November 1956.
The Thornbury end was incorporated into the restructured Route 1A, operating Victoria Rd, East Thornbury through Preston and Reservoir to Cheddar Rd, East Reservoir, a multi-operator route shared between K. Williamson, Watton, Nathalia – Melbourne Passenger Service (Taylor) and East Preston – Epping Bus Service (H. Webb).
Following extensions in North-East Reservoir in the 1960s, this version of Route 1A would ultimately become 552 in 1971. The southern end was extended to Darebin Road in August 1977 and Northcote Plaza in July 1981.
ROUTE 23 COBURG – CITY – SOUTH MELBOURNE BEACH (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Started 3/1930 as City – Preston, departing from the GPO via Bourke St, Evelyn St, Nicholson St, Johnston St, Smith St, Queens Pde and High St to Preston Town Hall. Operator in 1931 was O. Castle.
Amended 2/1932 to run as Coburg – South Melbourne Beach (route not known) and a deviation was added in 6/1935 to Heidelberg running from High St, Northcote via Bastings St, Victoria St, Darebin Rd, Livingstone St and Upper Heidelberg Road to Bell St.
The Northcote – Heidelberg branch ceased on 16/8/1941 when MMTB all-night service began. The main trunk between Coburg & South Melbourne closed at an unknown date.
ROUTE 24 CITY – CARNEGIE (ALL NIGHT BUS)
First appeared 2/1931 as City – Malvern routed via Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Toorak Rd, Chapel St, Malvern Rd and Glenferrie Rd to Malvern Station, operated by A.Callaghan..
Soon varied in 4/1931 to be North Carlton – Armadale, originating at Park St via Lygon St, Elgin St, Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Toorak Rd, Chapel St and High St to Armadale Station. September 1931 saw the Armadale terminus extended to Malvern Town Hall.
The route closed 12/1931 but soon re-opened 2/1932 as East Brunswick – Caulfield over the old route, extended south via Glenferrie Rd, Station St and Dandenong Rd.
The City – East Brunswick leg closed 8/1932 (replaced by Route 27) and in 8/1934 it was extended via Dandenong Rd and Koornang Roads to Carnegie Station.
Variations in 3/1935 saw the route turn into Batman Ave, then Swan St, Church St and Chapel St to High Street, then as before, whilst a branch from Caulfield to Glenhuntly Station commenced via Smith St, Station St, Kambrook Rd, Booran Rd and Glenhuntly Rd.
The service closed in 9/1941 when all night tram services were expanded.
ROUTE 25 PORT MELBOURNE – CITY – KEW (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Began 9/1931, operating via Beach St, Bay St, Crockford St, City Rd, Queens Bridge, Market St. Flinders St, Swanston St, Collins St, Gisborne St, Victoria St, Barkers Rd and High St to Park Hill Rd, but only lasted 5 months, closing 2/1932.
ROUTE 26 QUEENS BRIDGE – SOUTH WHARF
Commenced 11/1931 as Queens Bridge – Port Melbourne via Yarra Bank Rd, Normanby Rd and Lorimer St to Ingles St.
Following the introduction of the MMTB bus service from Queens Bridge – Fishermans Bend via Lorimer Street on 3/4/1945, Route 26 was cut back to South Wharf in 8/1946. At this time the route ran from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 12:30pm Saturdays.
Route closed in 1952, at which time the operator was Eagles.
ROUTE 27 CITY – NORTH WILLIAMSTOWN & CITY – SUNSHINE (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Started 8/1932 as East Brunswick – City – Footscray, with East Brunswick – City replacing Route 24, operated by A.Callaghan.. It was extended 6/1935 to Yarraville via Barkly St, Victoria St, Charles St, Gamon St and Somerville Road to Williamstown Rd; however it reverted to Footscray from 5/1937.
The City – East Brunswick portion ceased 11/1941 with the expanded all night trams.
The Footscray half was extended to North Williamstown in 1/1946 at which time the route was from Swanston St via Flinders St, Spencer St, Abbotsford St, Ireland St, Dryburgh St, Macaulay Rd, Footscray Rd, Dynon Rd, Hopkins St, Barkly St, Nicholson St, Buckley St, Charles St, Gamon St, Somerville Rd, Williamstown Rd and Melbourne Rd to Ferguson St. A 60-minute service ran to Footscray from 12:30am (11:30pm Sundays) to 4:45am with three trips through to North Williamstown.
A branch to Sunshine started 7/1947, at which time Operators were A. Page & S. Dodds, whilst an extension to Williamstown Dockyard was tried between 7/1948 and 7/1951.
In 1950 the operator was Melbourne Motor Coach Service. The route was closed in late 1951.
ROUTE 28 PORT MELBOURNE – CITY – CAMBERWELL JUNCTION (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Began 10/1932 as City – Camberwell Junction. Operator was M.Callaghan who extended to Port Melbourne in 7/1933.
Closed 9/1941 after MMTB expanded all night services.
ROUTE 29 CITY – BOX HILL (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Commenced 1/1933 as City – Surrey Hills. In 1934 operator was R. Walker.
Route was extended to Box Hill in 1939. Closed 9/1945.
ROUTE 30 MOONEE PONDS – CLIFTON HILL
Renumbered as Route 504 from 1971
Route 30 Moonee Ponds – East Brunswick (Lygon Street) commenced in January 1933, operated by J. Neeson. In 1934 P. Sheehan was added as another operator. It extended to Clifton Hill at the start of 1947 and by July 1948 the operator was Neesons Bus Service.
Renumbered 504 in 1971. Sold to F. Bono 5/8/1974, then to Maison, Balzana & Paparone 23/12/1975. Northern Bus Lines (Pulitano) took over 13/8/1979.
ROUTE 31 TOORAK STATION – VICTORIA ST, ABBOTSFORD
Renumbered as Route 607 from 1971
Route 31 started as Toorak Station – Hawksburn via Heyington in 7/1933. In 1934 the operator was R.Walker. It was soon 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 2/1954. It was again sold in 12/1958 to S. Smith, and then to Welch in 1970.
Renumbered 607 in 1971 and 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 2/10/1987.
ROUTE 32 CITY – HARTWELL & CITY – EAST MALVERN (ALL NIGHT BUS)
Dates from 7/1935 from the State Library via Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Domain Rd, Park St, Toorak Rd to Camberwell Rd, Hartwell.
A branch service to East Malvern commenced 5/1936 running via Glenferrie Rd, Malvern Rd, Tooronga Rd and High St to Wattletree Road in East Malvern.
Service closed 24/3/1939.
ROUTE 33 CITY – ELSTERNWICK
Renumbered as Route 605 from 1971
An original route of 1925 was No. 3 City – Gardenvale via St. Kilda Road, Alma Road, Kooyong Road to North Road, however it ceased by the end of the same year.
Then in 6/1937 Route 33 began as City (Batman Ave) to Toorak (cnr Bruce & George Streets), the operators were Walker & Papps. Then in 12/1938, Heyington Station – Elsternwick via Kooyong Road began as 98A.
Walker bought out Papps 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 34 MOONEE PONDS – WESTGARTH
Renumbered as Route 506 from 1971
This route was a Motor Cab Service from Westgarth to West Brunswick which dates from the early 1930s when operators included A & F Deveson. In April 1934 W. Carah was also noted.
It received Bus Route No. 34 in August 1939.
In February 1948 the operators were Easton, Bowman, Waddell, Deveson, Burke, Griflett and Williams. In March 1950 Mcnamara and Mutimer were in the partnership, then in July 1952 Williams sold to H Dean and A Purser joined in. McNamara, Mutimer, Waddell, Burke, and Griflett had gone by the end of 1952. December 1954 saw Bowman drop out, whilst the remaining partners traded as Brunswick – Westgarth Bus Service.
Deveson joined in 1955, and next year the route was extended across to Moonee Ponds.
By March 1961 F. Sherry and F. Fitzpatrick had replaced Easton. In August 1963 it is recorded that Fitzpatrick, Deveson and Dean were out, and replaced by O’Dea and P & H Frost, whilst in August 1964 J. Mearns replaced Frost, and at the end of that year Dajon Investments had replaced O’Dea.
The trading name of Glenlyon Bus Service had been adopted by August 1965, and in April 1966 Sherry sold to R & E Higginson. The same year G. Bellofiori came in, then in February 1967 L. Dwyer had replaced Dajon Investments. Purser and Mearns had gone by 31/10/1969 when the remaining three operators formed themselves into Moonee Valley Bus Lines.
Renumbered 506 in 1971.
ROUTE 35 DOMAIN RD, SOUTH YARRA – PORT MELBOURNE
Began 12/1939 and operated via Albert St, Bridport St, Cardigan St, St Vincent St, Pickles St, Beaconsfield Pde and Beach St to Princes Pier. In 1943 was being run by Mrs A. Pring then sold to Mr Bussell.
In 1951 the hours of service were 6:15am to 11:30pm, with Sundays 2pm to 11pm.
Mr Bussell operated from a standard suburban family house next door to Graeme Cleak’s family home in Edgar St, Glen Iris. He recalls in 1951 three or so buses parked in the driveway overnight, with a petrol bowser in the front garden and a shed in the backyard with a relic or two.
One of Graeme’s uncles, courting a girl who lived in Albert Park, used to have an “arrangement” whereby he drove the last run-in of a night from Domain Rd to Glen Iris – thus saving the regular driver an amount of empty travelling. Mr Bussell also operated one hire car.
Around 1952 the route was sold to H. Keirson then to Shaw & Steiffier in 12/1953.
An extension to Williamstown Road was tried between 3/1954 and 7/1954, but the run ultimately closed during the following year.
ROUTE 36 MOONEE PONDS – FOOTSCRAY
Renumbered as Route 404 from 1971
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 37 ST KILDA – FISHERMANS BEND
Renumbered as Route 606 from 1971
Began in 3/1941 as Route 37, and in 1943 was run by Mrs. W. Pring.
Route 37 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 was later operated under the name St Kilda B.L.
ROUTE 38 EAST MELBOURNE – FOOTSCRAY
Renumbered as Route 402 from 1971
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 later traded as Starline Coaches.
In October 1985 Sita purchased Starline Coaches.
ROUTE 39 FLEMINGTON BRIDGE – MOONEE PONDS via Travancore
This had been Motor Cab Route 5, becoming a full bus service in 12/1952 and given Route 39. Early operators were G. Wilson, Rick and T. Barker. It ran via Mount Alexander Rd. Mooltan St, Myrnong Cr, Ormond Rd, Pattison St and Dean St.
By 1952 the operators had become J.O’Dea and T.Barker(trading as Essendon Railway Station – Flemington Bridge B.S.) with the route being extended to Essendon. In 7/1954 O’Dea, who by then was the sole operator, sold to J. Birkett. Further sold 6/1956 to R. W. Curren, then in 6/1958 to C & T Kellett.
In 1960 it went to Barnes Bus Lines, who linked it with his existing Route 75A Moonee Ponds – Keilor to form Route 39 Flemington Bridge – Keilor.
In 1964 the section from Flemington Bridge – Moonee Ponds closed, with Barnes selling 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.
Further notes under Route 75A and Route 476.
ROUTE 40 SYDNEY RD (BRUNSWICK) – UNION ST (WEST BRUNSWICK)
Renumbered as Route 505 from 1971
This short run had been 12A, an original route of 1925, but closed in December 1925.
Later it was Motor Cab Route 3, but was given Bus Route No 40 in July 1953 and the operator was W. McGurgan. He sold to G. Holden around 1965.
By February 1970 E. Kurbanovs was the operator, and it was renumbered 505 in 1971. Service closed in December 1973.