Uni bus turns one

A popular rail to uni bus service operated by CDC’s Eastrans in Melbourne turns one this week

Uni bus turns one
Uni bus turns one

July 19, 2012

The popular Route 601 express bus from Huntingdale station to Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs marked the successful end of a year-long trial period this week.

Although only operating for a year, Route 601 was now one of the most popular bus routes in Melbourne, according to Parliamentary Secretary for Public Transport Edward O'Donohue.

"Route 601 has quickly become one of the most popular bus routes in Melbourne, carrying up to 22,000 passengers a week last semester," O'Donohue says.

"Recent surveys show that since we introduced Route 601 a year ago, bus patronage has more than doubled on the Huntingdale to Monash corridor.

"So this new bus route hasn't just added extra bus services for existing passengers – it's actually attracted thousands of new passengers to catch the bus."

In April, the operator CDC Eastrans added an extra vehicle to the route to cater for expected patronage growth.

There are now four Eastrans buses operating continuously over the 2.5 kilometre stretch between the station and the university.

O'Donohue says that although bus passenger numbers had more than doubled between Huntingdale and Monash University, there was still room for more people on the buses.

"Our surveys show that although there is a spike in passenger numbers just before 9am and just after 5pm, the majority of buses have surplus capacity, so there is still room for more people to jump on board as word spreads that the bus is a convenient transport option."

O'Donohue says the survey data also revealed the bus service was not only being used by students.

"Passenger surveys also show that around 10 percent of trips are in the counter-peak direction, which suggests that it's not just university students and staff using the bus, it is also becoming a popular option for local residents who want to connect with trains to commute to the City."

After a year-long trial period, Route 601 is now permanent with $5.5 million allocated to the bus route in Victoria’s 2012-13 budget.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook