Melbourne commuters take to buses in record numbers

By: Jason Whittaker


Patronage on Melbourne’s metropolitan public transport services continued to grow strongly last year, up by nine per cent, with strong

Patronage on Melbourne’s metropolitan public transport services continued to grow strongly last year, up by nine per cent, with strong growth recorded on bus services.

Final patronage figures for the 2008/09 year were: buses - 99.5 million (up 9 percent); trains - 213.9 million (up 6.3 percent); trams - 178.1 million (up 12.5 percent); and total - 491.5 million (up 9 percent).

Percentage growth on the bus network grew markedly in the year to 2009. The figures for the past three years were:

  • 85 million boardings in 2006/07 (up 7.4 percent)
  • 91.3 million boardings in 2007/08 (up 7.4 percent) and
  • 99.5 million boardings in 2008/09 (up 9 percent).


Growth in train patronage fell below 10 percent for the first time in three years.

The Victorian Government has called for tenders for a $200 million rail extension to Sunbury, which is part of the government’s $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says the Sunbury electrification project will help to address strong patronage growth on the Sydenham line and significantly boost services for Sunbury residents.

"The project will allow us to replace the current diesel trains from Sunbury with metropolitan trains which carry more than double the number of passengers," Kosky says.

"After the project is complete, Sunbury and Diggers Rest passengers will enjoy double the number of services, with trains operating earlier in the morning and later at night during week days and on weekends.

"Existing Sydenham commuters will benefit from extra metropolitan train paths, while the project will also free up V/Line carriages that can be used on the Melton line for extra services."

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook