Melbourne Visitor Shuttle

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Melbourne Visitor Shuttle
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (6678AO) in La Trobe St, 2013.JPG
Overview
Operator Driver Bus Lines
Route
Start Arts Precinct
Via Federation Square
Sports Precinct
Chinatown
Melbourne Museum
Lygon Street
University of Melbourne
Queen Victoria Market
Waterfront City Docklands
Docklands Stadium
William Street
Southbank
Shrine of Remembrance
End Arts Precinct
Service
Level Daily
Frequency 30 minutes
Journey time 90 minutes
Operates 09:30-15:45

The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (formerly the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle) is a tourist-oriented bus service that operates in the city of Melbourne, Australia. It is operated by Driver Bus Lines on behalf of the City of Melbourne, who receive funding through the state government road congestion levy.[1][2]

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

Stops, attractions and destinations[edit]

History[edit]

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.

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]

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 four buses borrowed from other operators 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]

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.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Drivers 'conned' on car levy". The Age. 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  2. ^ a b c City Of Melbourne. "Melbourne Visitor Shuttle". Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  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 2007-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Melbourne Transport Strategy: Submission from the Bus Association Victoria" (PDF). 30 September 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-25. [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 2008-07-16. 
  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 2013-10-18. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Melbourne Visitor Shuttle at Wikimedia Commons