Transdev Melbourne

Transdev Melbourne is a bus operator in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, operating a fleet of over 500 buses on 45 bus routes, as well as seven SmartBus routes. It commenced operations in August 2013, taking over all Melbourne Bus Link and National Bus Company routes. It operates approximately 30% of Melbourne's bus network. It is a subsidiary of Transdev Australasia, which in turn is a subsidiary of French-based, international Transdev.[1]

Transdev Melbourne
Transdev logo.svg
Transdev Melbourne number 360 (0360AO) Volgren bodied Scania in PTV livery on route 232 in Queen St, December 2013.jpg
Volgren bodied Scania L94UB on Queen Street in December 2013
ParentTransdev Australasia
Commenced operation4 August 2013
Service areaMelbourne
Service typeBus operator
Fleet546 (December 2019)


Most of Transdev Melbourne's routes were operated by the Public Transport Corporation until the 1990s. In December 1993 the Doncaster and Fitzroy North depots and associated services were transferred to National Bus Company, formed by Westbus proprietors Jim Bosnjak and sister in law Carol.[2][3] The remaining Public Transport Corporation services remained in public ownership until privatised in April 1998 with Dysons and Reservoir Bus Company forming Melbourne Bus Link to take over the services operating out of Footscray and Sandringham depots.[4]

In June 2012 Public Transport Victoria called for expressions of interest for the Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise with 30% of the city's bus network, operated by Melbourne Bus Link and National Bus Company, as well as three SmartBus routes, .[5] From ten expressions received, a shortlist of five bidders was selected in August 2012 with FirstGroup, Keolis Downer, National Bus Company (Ventura Bus Lines), Transit Systems, and Transdev invited to tender.[6][7] In April 2013 Transdev were awarded the franchise, with operations commencing on 4 August 2013.[8][9] The franchise will run for seven years with an option to extend for a further three years.[8][10] In December 2018, it was announced by the government that the three years extension option will not be taken up, but instead a six-month extension was granted, extending the contract to January 2021.[11][12]

In September 2017, safety inspections by Transport Safety Victoria at two Transdev bus depots found 33 defective buses. Twelve of the buses were in such poor conditions they were removed from service for urgent repairs.[13]


Transdev Melbourne originally took over the operation of 52 routes spanning Melbourne's metropolitan area, separated into three groups: 40 Eastern routes, nine Western routes and three SmartBus Orbital routes. It also operates 122 school bus services across metropolitan Melbourne.[14][15][16]


SmartBus liveried Custom Coaches bodied MAN 18.310 on Lonsdale Street in August 2013

Transdev Melbourne inherited a fleet of approximately 500 buses from Melbourne Bus Link, Ventura Bus Lines ex National Bus Company, and SmartBus operators.[14] As at December 2019, the fleet consisted of 546 buses.[17]

The Public Transport Victoria white and orange diamonds livery is being applied, except to SmartBus liveried buses that will remain this livery.


Fitzroy North depot in February 2014

Transdev Melbourne operate from five depots, with two satellite depots. The Eastern network (former National Bus Company) operates out of depots in Doncaster and Fitzroy North, while the Western network (former Melbourne Bus Link) operated depots in Footscray and [[Sandringham, Victoria|Sandringham]. The SmartBus Orbital fleet operated out of Keysborough depot (formerly owned by Grenda's Bus Service), as well as two interim satellite depots at Dysons in Reservoir, and Tullamarine Bus Lines in Airport West, with a requirement to establish a more permanent storage solution by 2017.[14]

New depots opened at Heatherton, Sunshine West and Thomastown in September 2016, October 2016 and March 2017 to replace the Sandringham, Footscray and satellite depots respectively.[18][19][20][21] The Doncaster and Fitzroy North depots are also being rebuilt as part of an upgrade program. A temporary depot was set up in North Melbourne while these works occurred.


  1. ^ Anger as French company lands bus contract The Age 26 April 2013
  2. ^ "National Bus Company" Australian Bus Panorama issue 9/5 January 1994 page 31
  3. ^ "PTC Fleet Break-Up Immediately Prior to National Bus Co Takeover" Australian Bus Panorama issue 9/6 February 1994 page 31
  4. ^ "Historic Reforms for Melbourne's Buses" Australian Bus Panorama issue 13/3 December 1997 page 35
  5. ^ "Expressions of Interest now open for Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise" (Press release). Public Transport Victoria. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Public Transport Victoria announces shortlist for Melbourne metropolitan bus franchise" (Press release). Public Transport Victoria. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  7. ^ Goeldner, David (27 August 2012). "First Group named in Melbourne's final five". Australasian Bus & Coach. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Preferred tenderer announced for the Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise" (Press release). Public Transport Victoria. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Transdev to begin operating the Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise from Sunday 4 August" (Press release). Public Transport Victoria. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  10. ^ Carey, Adam (26 April 2013). "Anger as French company lands bus contract". The Age. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Renewing Melbourne's Biggest Bus Fleet". Premier of Victoria. 15 December 2018. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Extension to Transdev bus contract cut short as 100 new buses promised". The Age. 15 December 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  13. ^ Carey, Adam (20 September 2017). "Off the buses: Transdev buses pulled off the road after failing safety blitz". The Age. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Invitation for Expressions of Interest Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise Volume 2 – Melbourne and its Bus and Public Transport Networks" (PDF). Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Our Bus Routes". Transdev Melbourne. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Metropolitan buses". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  17. ^ Transdev Melbourne Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  18. ^ Transdev to construct three new depots Transdev Melbourne 27 January 2016
  19. ^ New Heatherton depot open for business Transdev Melbourne 7 September 2016
  20. ^ New Sunshine West depot open for business Transdev Melbourne 20 October 2016
  21. ^ Construction begins on new state-of-the-art bus depot Transdev Melbourne 28 July 2016

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