Brisbane Transport

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Bt 18310.jpg
Volgren bodied MAN 18.310 in September 2007
Parent Brisbane City Council
Founded 1925
Service area Brisbane
Service type Bus services
Depots 7
Fleet 1,192 (January 2015)

Brisbane Transport is a business unit of Brisbane City Council, operating bus services under the TransLink integrated public transport scheme in Brisbane.


Double deck horse tram at the northern end of the first permanent Victoria Bridge c.1890

The origins of Brisbane Transport can be traced to August 1885 where the Metropolitan Tramways & Investment Company established a service in Brisbane under franchise from the Queensland Government with 18 horse trams. The tram system remained in private hands until January 1923 when the Queensland government established the Brisbane Tramways Trust, compulsorily acquiring the tram network and supporting infrastructure, then in 1925 creating the Brisbane City Council and transferring responsibility for the tram network to the council. Before the council withdrew support in 1961, the council supported the tram network by expanding it to a peak of 175 kilometres (109 mi) with over 400 trams.[1]

Bus services commenced in 1925 by the Brisbane City Council.[2] Brisbane City Council shut down bus services due to financial loss in November 1927. Bus services recommenced 13 years later, in July 1940 with 12 Albion Valkyries.[2][3] In 1948 the Brisbane City Council acquired 20 operators with 67 buses.[1]

The first Rocket services began on the morning of 18 April 1977 between Garden City and the Brisbane CBD.[4] These services were based on the idea that bus travel time could be reduced to less than the travel time by car by the removal of most embarkation stops.

In the 1990s, Brisbane City Council corporatised its transport services to form Brisbane Transport, a council-owned commercial businesses managed at arm's length from the council and providing consultancy services back to it. In 2010 however government and Brisbane City Council support for public transport have never been higher with over 1,061 buses in service, Translink, construction of key infrastructure such as busways and upgrade of key infrastructure.


Main article: Busways in Brisbane

Brisbane Transport operates services along dedicated busway infrastructure to avoid peak hour traffic congestion on roads closest to the Brisbane CBD.


Bus upgrade zone[edit]

Main article: Bus upgrade zone
BUZ sign at a bus stop

Bus upgrade zones (BUZ) are high-frequency bus routes mostly running direct to the Cultural Centre. All BUZ services run at least every fifteen minutes from around 06:00 to 23:00 seven days a week and at least every ten minutes during peak hours from Monday to Friday.[5][6]


Main article: CityGlider

CityGlider is a high frequency pre-paid bus service around the Brisbane CBD, operating every five minutes during peak and every 10 to 15 minutes during off-peak. This is the first service in Brisbane to operate 24 hours on Friday and Saturday and 18 hours every other day.[7] Bus stops serviced by the CityGlider are identified with signs and painted kerb.


Clem7 (Route 77) is a bus route using the Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem7) which links the suburbs of Eight Mile Plains and Chermside, the route runs every 15 minutes at peak times and 30 minutes at off-peak, Monday to Friday.[8]

The route commenced on 22 March 2010 with a cost of $1.6 million. The route have made it easier for commuters travelling from Eight Mile Plains to get to Chermside, without transferring at Cultural Centre. The route completes the 30 kilometres (19 mi) cross-city journey in 39 minutes instead of up to 55 minutes via the Brisbane CBD.[8]


Volgren bodied Scania L94UB in August 2006

As at January 2015, the fleet consisted of 1,192 buses.[9]

Two-axle buses[edit]

Almost a third of the total fleet are MAN 18.310s, delivered from 2005 to 2010, mostly with CNG engines. The rest of the regular rigid fleet consists of diesel-powered Volvo B7RLEs (delivered 2010-current), CNG-powered Scania L94UBs (2000–2005), and smaller numbers of older Mercedes-Benz OC500LEs, Volvo B10Ls and Volvo B10Ms. The B10Ms are the only high-floor, non-accessible buses remaining. The last non-airconditioned B10Ms were withdrawn in 2011.

Three-axle buses[edit]

BT operates two models of three-axle "tag" buses, the diesel powered Scania K310UB (2008) and the diesel Volvo B12BLE (2008-current). These larger buses are used on trunk routes where more capacity is needed, mostly on the South East Busway.

Articulated buses[edit]

The only articulated buses currently used by BT are the CNG-powered MAN NG313s, delivered from 2005 to 2008.


Until the mid-1970s heavy duty AEC and Leyland buses were purchased. Future purchases were from European suppliers with Volvo B59s purchased from 1976, MAN SL200s in 1982 and Volvo B10Ms from 1987.[1]


Former Milton bus depot in 1951, prior to modification for trolleybuses

Brisbane Transport operates its services from seven depots. Many of these depots can share routes with other depots in overlapping areas. Generally, each of Brisbane Transport's buses are allocated to a particular depot, and displays a letter prefix for that depot before its fleet number.

Depot Letter Code Location Opened[10] Closed CNG Fuelling Services / Comments
Carina C 27°29′25″S 153°06′07″E / 27.490371°S 153.102078°E / -27.490371; 153.102078 1969 - No All eastern routes and some south-eastern routes from Garden City to Wynnum and Bulimba
Eagle Farm E 2013 - No Some northern routes; all routes between New Farm and West End
Garden City G 27°34′00″S 153°05′12″E / 27.56655°S 153.086731°E / -27.56655; 153.086731 1994 - Yes South-eastern routes from Browns Plains and Sunnybank, to Wishart and Coorparoo. This depot is also the location of Brisbane Transport's head office.
Sherwood S 2012 - No Western, south-western and north-western routes.
Toowong T 27°28′45″S 152°59′01″E / 27.479235°S 152.983482°E / -27.479235; 152.983482 1967 Yes South Western and North West Routes from Brookside and The Gap, to Inala and Forest Lake.
Virginia V 27°21′57″S 153°03′39″E / 27.365889°S 153.060885°E / -27.365889; 153.060885 1998 - Yes The majority of northern routes from Nudgee Beach and Brighton, to Brookside and the Gap.
Willawong W 27°35′55″S 153°00′15″E / 27.598531°S 153.004103°E / -27.598531; 153.004103 2009 - Yes Primarily Southern routes, and shares routes with other southern depots.
Bowen Hills A 27°26′10″S 153°02′32″E / 27.435975°S 153.042313°E / -27.435975; 153.042313 2000 2013 No Some northern routes; all routes between New Farm and West End. Closed in 2013 with the opening of the new depot at Eagle Farm.
Richlands R 27°36′05″S 152°57′27″E / 27.601259°S 152.957395°E / -27.601259; 152.957395 1997 2013 No A satellite depot of the Toowong depot, it shares services on western routes, and some services to Garden City.
Larapinta L 27°38′35″S 153°00′27″E / 27.643171°S 153.007364°E / -27.643171; 153.007364 2007 2012 No A satellite depot of Carina, Garden City and Willawong depots, it shared southern, western and eastern services. Originally a temporary bus depot until the Willawong depot opened, it remained open as a satellite depot, sharing routes with other southern depots, until 20 February 2012.
Bracken Ridge B 27°19′54″S 153°01′47″E / 27.331658°S 153.02982°E / -27.331658; 153.02982 1996 2001 No Only ever considered a short-term depot by Brisbane Transport, it was closed in 2001, several years after the Virginia depot had opened.
Cribb Street, Milton - 27°28′09″S 153°00′28″E / 27.469226°S 153.007858°E / -27.469226; 153.007858  ? 1983 No Never a formal depot, this area of land was occasionally used by the council as temporary storage for buses owing to its proximity to the Milton bus and tram workshops. Last used in 1983.
Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba - 27°29′22″S 153°02′09″E / 27.489505°S 153.035731°E / -27.489505; 153.035731 1969? 1974 No Shared with trams, buses parked in the depot forecourt and at the rear (eastern end) of the tram sheds. Between 1969 and 1974, the depot was used solely by buses. The site was subsequently sold by the Brisbane City Council for commercial redevelopment. One bay of the depot building was dismantled and re-erected at the Brisbane Tramway Museum at Ferny Grove.
Light Street, Newstead L 27°27′05″S 153°02′19″E / 27.451323°S 153.038617°E / -27.451323; 153.038617 1885  ? No Closed for commercial redevelopment, first used as a transport depot in 1885 when it was the main tram depot for Brisbane's horse tram network. Until 1968, the depot was shared with trams with buses parked along the western (Wickham Street) frontage and north of the tram shed. When the tram shed was demolished, buses were parked where the shed once stood.
Milton - 27°28′02″S 153°00′34″E / 27.467217°S 153.00958°E / -27.467217; 153.00958  ? 1969 No Shared with trolleybuses and closed when the trolleybus network was abandoned in 1969. The site is now part of the King's Row business park, although the Brisbane City Council still has a parks works depot there.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Birrell, RA (1987). Brisbane City Council Bus Fleet. Elizabeth, South Australia: Railmac Publications. pp. 4–6. ISBN 0 949817 66 X. 
  2. ^ a b Mass transit investigation report (PDF). Brisbane City Council. September 2007. p. 17. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Manfred, Cross (1997), "Alfred James Jones: Labor's first lord mayor", in Shaw, Barry, Brisbane:Corridors of Power, Papers 15, Brisbane: Brisbane History Group, p. 158, ISBN 0-9586469-1-0 
  4. ^ Cole, John R (1984). Shaping a city. Albion: William Brooks Queensland. p. 330. ISBN 0-85568-619-7. 
  5. ^ BUZ network map (PDF) (Map). TransLink. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "TransLink Bus Timetables". Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Trenwith, Courtney (11 April 2010). "Brisbane's 24-hour buses hit the road". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Minister for Transport Rachel Nolan (1 March 2010). "77 in Clem 7 crosses north-south divide". Ministerial Media Statements. Queensland Government. Retrieved 16 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Bus Fleet Allocation - Summary Brisbane Transport Buses
  10. ^ Otto, Patrick. "About BT". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]