News and events

Expressions of Interest now open for Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise

06 Jun 2012

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) has today called for Expressions of Interest for the operation of the Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise, which provides for the operation of approximately 30 per cent of the Melbourne public bus network.

Ian Dobbs, Chair and CEO of PTV, said that the request for Expressions of Interest marks the beginning of a world wide competitive tender process, the first time such a significant portion of Melbourne’s public bus network has been publicly tendered.

“Melbourne’s bus services are a vital part of our public transport network” said Mr Dobbs. “This tender process is an important part of PTV’s plan to improve public transport services across Melbourne and we are looking for innovation and a long-term commitment from interested parties.”

Mr Dobbs said that recent market sounding had confirmed considerable interest in Melbourne’s bus network from experienced national and international operators.

The Melbourne Metropolitan Bus Franchise is comprised of a fleet of around 500 buses operating the following services:

> Eastern area: 40 routes running in excess of 2500 services per week day and servicing the eastern suburbs and Melbourne CBD, including the four Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) services, plus 106 school-only services.

> Western area: nine routes running in excess of 700 services per week day and servicing the western suburbs, south-eastern suburbs and the Melbourne CBD, plus 16 school-only services.

> SmartBus Orbitals: three bus routes, Yellow (route 901), Green (route 902), and Red (route 903), running in excess of 545 week day services through Melbourne’s outer suburbs. These services run at a high frequency from 5am to midnight Monday to Friday, 6am to midnight on Saturday and 7am to 9pm on Sunday.

It is expected that the contract will be awarded for an initial period of seven years.

Mr Dobbs said that PTV is committed to ensuring the tender process is fair, transparent and competitive, results in a value-for money outcome and delivers the highest quality bus services for passengers.

Details of particular experience and capacity sought are provided in the EOI documents. The EOI documents are available on the Victorian Government’s tender publishing website at

Expressions of Interest will close at 10am on Thursday 19 July 2012.