Metro Tasmania

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Metro Tasmania bus.jpg
Northcoast Bus & Coach bodied Scania L94UB in pre-2010 corporate livery
Parent Government of Tasmania
Founded 1955
Headquarters Hobart
Service area Burnie
Service type Bus services
Fleet 217 (May 2014)
Annual ridership 10.4 million (2011/12)
Chief executive Stuart Wiggins

Metro Tasmania, commonly called Metro, a Tasmanian Government business enterprise, is the largest bus operator in the state of Tasmania, Australia, with operations in the largest population centres of Hobart, Launceston, and Burnie.


Ansair bodied Scania N113CRB in December 2012
Ansair bodied MAN 10.180HOCL in December 2012
Custom Coaches bodied Scania K230UB in all over advertising

The history of Metro Tasmania stems back to 1893, when the Hobart Electric Tramway Company (HETCo) was founded by a London consortium. The HETCo was one of the earliest such operators in the world, and was the first electric tramway in the Southern Hemisphere. The company also operated two Dennis motorbuses prior to being taken over in 1913 by the Hobart City Council, who renamed it to Hobart Municipal Tramways (HMT). In 1935, HMT began to use trolleybuses on some networks to replace trams, and petrol buses were introduced on some networks in the 1940s to alleviate congestion.

In 1955, a statutory authority called the Metropolitan Transport Trust (MTT) was formed, and this entity amalgamated the operations of the Hobart Municipal Tramways and the Launceston Municipal Tramways, which had been operated by the Launceston City Council since 1911. At its commencement, MTT operated trams, trolley, petrol and diesel buses.

In 1960 MTT acquired the operations of Norton Coaches, which provided bus services in the Burnie area. This resulted in the MTT operating transport services in the South, North and North-West regions of Tasmania. 1960 also saw the end of Hobart's trams, and in 1968 electric traction was removed altogether from Hobart's streets.

MTT continued to operate until re-branded in the 1990s as Metro. Metro Tasmania Pty Ltd is a state-owned company established in February 1998.[1] In May 1999 Metro purchased Hobart Coaches which operated services to New Norfolk, Richmond, Blackmans Bay and the Channel areas of Hobart. Hobart Coaches was the regional division of Metro, operating with separate buses at separate yards, however, the former has now been amalgamated into the latter, and Metro operates all former Hobart Coaches services.

In December 2008, Metro sold its New Norfolk services to O'Driscoll Coaches.[2]


As at June 2012 Metro Tasmania employed 405 people and carried 10.4 million passengers in 2011/12.[1]

On 28 November 2012, Metro bus drivers above a weight maximum of 130 kilograms (290 lb) began to be removed from duties and placed on an exercise program paid for by the company, due to occupational health and safety issues. If after six months drivers had not achieved in losing an optimal amount of weight, their employment would be terminated. This action in helping drivers with weight issues has been supported by the Australian Rail Tram and Bus Union, and made national news headlines.[3]


Metro currently uses a smartcard ticketing system known as Greencard, alongside paper receipt-style tickets which are only purchasable with cash on the bus.

Historically, Metro used paper tickets from its foundation until 1987, when a new magnetic-striped system by Crouzet was introduced. This system allowed for easier transfers across the network and an exact fare expiration time of 90 minutes. Upon the ending of this system, all ticketing equipment was given to Adelaide Metro, who are the last remaining company using the system.

It was not until 2008 when a new system by iNit was introduced, which used an electronic card to validate and purchase tickets. The Greencard system allows for passengers to deposit a desired amount onto their cards, with the balance debited upon each trip. The new system also requires validation on each boarding, and has a fare expiration of 90 minutes from the initial boarding.

Fare types include Adult, Concession/Student and Child, and each are divided into Metro's system of sections.[4]


As at May 2014 the fleet consisted of 218 MAN, Scania and Volvo buses.[5]

Metro has used a variety of buses in its history, commencing in 1955 with AEC Regal half-cab buses. From 1955 over 300 petrol engined Bedford SB3s were purchased followed in the 1970s by 75 Hino BT51s, 64 Leyland Nationals and 68 Volvo B58s.[6][7]

In the 1980s three Volvo B58s and 19 Volvo B10M articulated buses were purchased as well as four rigid B10Ms,[8]28 Mercedes-Benz OH1316s.[6] and the first Scania N112s.[9]

Preserved buses[edit]

Several vehicles once operated by the MTT and Metro have now been preserved by the Tasmanian Transport Museum and the Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society. These include:

  • 1942 Canton trolleybus #74 - Donated by MTT in 1964 to Tasmanian Transport Museum, in full operating condition.[10]
  • 1948 AEC Regal #16 - Acquired in 1976 by Tasmanian Transport Museum, unrestored.[11]
  • 1953 BUT trolleybus #235 - Donated by MTT in 1968 to Tasmanian Transport Museum, last trolleybus to operate in Tasmania[10]
  • 1971 Bedford SB3 #249 - Donated by Metro to Tasmanian Transport Museum in 1988, in full operating condition[11]
  • 1975 Leyland National #601 - Donated by Metro to Tasmanian Transport Museum in 1992[11]
  • 1980 [Volvo B58] #702 - Preserved By Private Owner
  • 1989 Scania N113CRB #134 - Donated by Metro to Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society in 2010, restoration ongoing[12]


The initial bus livery adopted in 1955 was the same larch green and cream carried by trams and trolleybuses. In the late 1970s a new livery of rolled gold and cream appeared. A re-branding also occurred, shifting away from Metropolitan Transport Trust/MTT to Metro Tasmania, and a two-tone apple green livery was introduced at the time to reflect this. This livery can be seen today on some older buses, and its initial purpose was to signify buses with passenger-operated rear doors.

In the early 1990s, new Metro eXpress (MX) services were introduced, and a number of buses were given a livery of green and yellow on white. Both two-tone green and MX livery exist today on older stock, but this has been replaced mainly by a corporate white with a yellow front.[13]


Metro maintains three large-sized depots, one each in Hobart (Derwent Park), Launceston and Burnie. These depots house Metro's buses and managerial operations, with Hobart being the central office. Each depot contains refuelling and workshop services.

Hobart was once served by the City Depot, which originally housed Hobart's tram depot and company offices, predecessors to Metro today. The City Depot was closed in the 1980s to make way for urban redevelopment, and now hardly any remnant remains aside from several historic buildings and façades.

Satellite Yards[edit]

Because of the widespread nature of their services, Metro also have various satellite yards located in non-urban and outer suburban areas. These yards allow buses to begin their daily services in specific places, and can allow for greater early morning frequency for some routes. The yards generally have no facilities and usually exist so as buses can be stored overnight, ready to begin an inward service the next day.

  • Hobart (CBD) – This yard was only recently acquired by Metro after previously being used as a concrete plant. This yard generally holds up to 8 buses at any one time.
  • Mornington – This yard was very large and initially housed the workshops for Metro, however, today it remains only as a small parking area in Mornington's light industrial district.
  • Bridgewater/Brighton – This yard is often known for being a "graveyard", and buses that have been decommissioned from service are placed here until sold. Buses used for services for Bridgewater and the northern suburbs are often housed here overnight.
  • Kingston – Buses from this yard serve Margate, Snug and Kingston in the morning peak hour.
  • Lauderdale – Serving Lauderdale and South Arm in the morning peak.
  • Woodbridge, Middleton, Opossum Bay, Cygnet, and Gordon – Each of these yards house one bus overnight, which operate the morning peak hour service from those areas.
  • Wynyard – Two buses are stored overnight in Wynyard.
  • Ulverstone – Plans have also been made by Metro drivers to open urban satellite yards.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Annual Report 2011/12 Metro Tasmania
  2. ^ Clark, Nick (10 December 2008). "Valley bus privatised". The Mercury. 
  3. ^ Smith, Matt. "Metro on weight-loss drive". The Mercury. Davies Bros Pty. Ltd. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Tasmania, Metro. "Urban Fare Sections & Non-Urban Fare Zones Explained". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Metro Tasmania Bus Australia
  6. ^ a b Travers, Greg (1989). The Australian Government Bus. Elizabeth: Railmac Publications. pp. 6, 11, 20, 40, 46, 49. ISBN 0 949817 75 9. 
  7. ^ Metro Tasmania - Volvo B58 Disposal List Bus Australia
  8. ^ Metro Tasmania - Volvo B10M Mk11 Rigids Disposal list Bus Australia
  9. ^ "Tasmanian Update" Australian Bus Panorama 4/6 May 1989
  10. ^ a b Tasmanian Transport Museum Society. "Exhibits - Trolley buses". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c Tasmanian Transport Museum Society. "Exhibit - MTT Petrol and Diesel Buses". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Tasmanian Bus & Coach Society. "About Us". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Tasmania, Metro (1993). Centenary: 1893-1993. Hobart, Tasmania: Metro Tasmania. 

External links[edit]