Melbourne Visitor Shuttle

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Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (6678AO) in La Trobe St, 2013.JPG
Operator Driver Bus Lines
Began service1 March 2006 (2006-03-01)
Ended service31 August 2017 (2017-08-31)
Start Arts Precinct
Via Federation Square
Sports Precinct
Melbourne Museum
Lygon Street
University of Melbourne
Queen Victoria Market
Waterfront City Docklands
Docklands Stadium
William Street
Shrine of Remembrance
EndArts Precinct
Frequency30 minutes
Journey time90 minutes

The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (formerly the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle) was a tourist-oriented bus service that operated in the city of Melbourne, Australia from March 2006 until August 2017. It was operated by Driver Bus Lines on behalf of the City of Melbourne, who received funding through the state government road congestion levy. [1] [2]

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 2,080 km2 (800 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

City of Melbourne Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The City of Melbourne is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the central city area of Melbourne. In 2016 the city has an area of 36 square kilometres (14 sq mi) and had a population of 135,959. The city's motto is "Vires acquirit eundo" which means "She gathers strength as she goes."

Government of Victoria state government of Victoria, Australia

The Government of Victoria is the executive administrative authority of the Australian state of Victoria.


The bus route encircled the heart of Melbourne City Centre and Carlton in an anti-clockwise direction and had 13 stops near key tourist destinations. The service ran daily at 30-minute intervals between 09:30 and 15:45 (except certain public holidays) and provided a running commentary on the city's attractions. [2] A similar service, on a different route, was also provided by the City Circle Tram.

Melbourne City Centre Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne City Centre is the central built up area of the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, centred on the Hoddle Grid, the oldest part of the city laid out in 1837, and includes its fringes. It is not to be confused with the larger local government area of the City of Melbourne which includes this area and the inner suburbs around it.

Carlton, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Carlton is an inner-northern suburb of Melbourne, Australia, immediately adjoining Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne.

Public holidays in Australia are declared on a state and territory basis.

Stops, attractions and destinations

The Melbourne Arts Precinct is a series of galleries, performing arts venues and spaces in Melbourne, Victoria, in Australia. The precinct in Southbank is centred on, and near, St Kilda Road. It differs from the East End Theatre District in the city centre, as most of the galleries and venues in the precinct are publicly funded.

National Gallery of Victoria Art museum in Melbourne, Australia

The National Gallery of Victoria, popularly known as the NGV, is an art museum in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is Australia's oldest, largest and most visited art museum.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Contemporary art museum in Victoria, Australia

The Australian Centre For Contemporary Art (ACCA) is a contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia. The gallery is located on Sturt Street in the Melbourne Arts Precinct, in the inner suburb of Southbank. Designed by Wood Marsh Architects, the building was completed in 2002. It incorporates facilities for Chunky Move, ACCA and the Malthouse Theatre.


Driver Bus Lines Custom Coaches bodied Denning Manufacturing in January 2010 Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle.jpg
Driver Bus Lines Custom Coaches bodied Denning Manufacturing in January 2010

The idea for a north-south loop service arose in the late 1990s when the City of Melbourne proposed a tram service that would complement the City Circle Tram service which operates on an east-west loop. By 2000, the idea had evolved to a free shuttle bus service and a fully detailed proposal was presented in November 2005 to the council's Planning & Development Committee. [3] The service commenced operation in March 2006 to coincide with the staging of the 2006 Commonwealth Games under contract by Ventura Bus Lines.

2006 Commonwealth Games 18th edition of the Commonwealth Games

The 2006 Commonwealth Games, officially the XVIII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Melbourne 2006, was an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 and 26 March 2006. It was the fourth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games. It was also the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.

Ventura Bus Lines

Ventura Bus Lines is the largest provider of public bus transport services in Melbourne, Victoria. Its fleet of 883 buses operate 141 routes out of 12 depots and move on average 36 million people a year. The company also provides V/line, event transportation, school bus and aged care services.

The concept and funding of the shuttle service has received some criticism. In a submission to the Melbourne Transport Strategy from the Bus Association Victoria in September 2005, prior to the establishment of the service, concerns were raised including the duplication of existing bus and tram services, encouragement of commuters to park just outside the levy zone, failure of previous tourist bus services and additional complications to the bus network. [4] In June 2007, City of Melbourne Lord Mayor, John So, responded to criticism of the council using money generated by the car parking levy to fund the service commenting: "The tourist shuttle bus is funded through the parking levy because the levy is used to fund sustainable transport-related initiatives". [1]

John So Hong Kong Australian businessman and Lord Mayor of Melbourne

John Chun Sai So is a Hong Kong Australian businessman who served as the 102nd Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, Australia. He was the first Lord Mayor in the city's history to be directly elected by the people; previously, Lord Mayors were elected by the councillors. He is also the first Lord Mayor of Melbourne of Chinese descent.

In mid-2007, the contract for operation of the service was re-tendered. Driver Bus Lines was awarded the contract, [5] Driver Bus Lines commenced operating the service with a somewhat-modified route on 1 September 2007, using three buses borrowed from Buslines Group and one demonstrator from Volvo until new units could be delivered. These new units, Custom Coaches bodied Denning Manufacturing chassis, entered service on 20 October. Driver were awarded a further five-year contract in 2012. [6]

Buslines Group

The Buslines Group is an Australian bus operator in New South Wales and is the third largest private bus operator in New South Wales.

Denning Manufacturing

Denning Manufacturing is an Australian bus manufacturer in Acacia Ridge, Brisbane, Australia. In September 2019, it was acquired by Custom Bus, but its branding and operations will be retained.

Initially the bus service was free, with the City of Melbourne covering the estimated $1.8 million a year to subsidise the service through, but in 2011 councillors proposed charging users, and a $10 ticket was introduced. [7] Passenger numbers dropped significantly from 330,000 in 2014 to 43,000 in 2016. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle suggested that the introduction of the Free Tram Zone (free tram travel within the Melbourne CBD) in 2015 was one of the factors in the decline in patronage. [8] In May 2017, City of Melbourne councillors voted to withdraw funding for the service, and it was discontinued on 31 August 2017. [9]

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  1. 1 2 "Drivers 'conned' on car levy". The Age. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
  2. 1 2 3 "Melbourne Visitor Shuttle". City of Melbourne What's On. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  3. City Of Melbourne (2005). "Proposed Tourist Shuttle Bus Service" (PDF). Planning and Environment Committee Report. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007.
  4. "Melbourne Transport Strategy: Submission from the Bus Association Victoria" (PDF). 30 September 2005. Retrieved 25 July 2007.[ dead link ]
  5. "Tender Evaluation Report:Tourist Shuttle Bus Service" (PDF). Finance and Governance Committee Report. City of Melbourne. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
  6. Coming clean with Cummins power Cummins 30 August 2012
  7. Miki Perkins (13 September 2011). "Traders fight for free tourist bus". The Age. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  8. "Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is worried free Melbourne CBD trams discourage people from walking". Herald Sun. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  9. "Melbourne Visitor Shuttle to end". Bus and Coach Society of Victoria. Retrieved 31 August 2017.

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