Community rejoices over hard-fought bus service increase

Community rejoices over hard-fought bus service increase
Brendan Rees

The Parkville Gardens community is celebrating after its campaign to increase bus services to its neighbourhood – which included continued advocacy from local Greens MPs – was finally a success.

For years, residents have felt short-changed with the lack of public transport servicing the booming residential area.

But in a long-awaited announcement, the state government said it would be providing additional weekday services along the 505 bus route, connecting Moonee Ponds to the University of Melbourne via Parkville Gardens.

More than 10 new services in total will be added, including increased services at peak hours – both in the morning and evening, as well as in between peak periods.


This is set to make a huge difference for people accessing a wide range of retail and medical services, as well as the University of Melbourne and University High School.


The Melbourne Zoo, Royal Park and Princes Park are also connected to the 505 bus route, which was initially introduced to provide public transport access to the former 2006 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, now known as Parkville Gardens.

Since then, demand has grown as the Parkville Gardens residential development has continued to expand.

“Public transport across the inner city is an essential service, whether it is getting students to school or university, or ensuring residents get to their work or appointments – this investment in additional services is so important,” the Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said.

The state government said timetable information for the 505 bus route was still being finalised, with the upgraded services set to begin in early 2023 and then be reviewed after 12 months.

The news comes as local Greens MPs have long advocated on behalf of the growing community to increase the bus services with Brunswick MP Dr Tim Read also launching a community petition last year, which resulted in the state government committing to funding in the 2021-22 state budget for improved services.

But when more than a year had passed and “nothing had happened”, residents were left frustrated, prompting the Greens’ leader and Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region Samantha Ratnam to address parliament in May to seek answers.

Mr Carroll, who took the question on notice, announced in September that the government was “finalising details” for additional bus services to Parkville Gardens.

Melbourne state MP Ellen Sandell, whose seat will cover Parkville Gardens when it is transferred from Dr Read’s electorate ahead of the state election in November, said she was delighted to hear the state government would deliver additional services for the 505 bus route, which was officially announced on September 19.

“The Victorian Greens have been advocating for this on behalf of residents and the local community for a long time,” she said.

“We were able to get a commitment to more 505 bus services in the state budget, and I’m pleased that the government is finally delivering them.”

The additional services are all part of Victoria’s Bus Plan, which is delivering improvements to the state’s bus network.

Member for Northern Metropolitan Region Sheena Watt said the government was meeting the demands of the local inner Melbourne community.  

“As residential developments increase, transport upgrades are crucial to connect people to where they need to go,” she said. •


Caption: Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll, Member for Northern Metropolitan Sheena Watt and Labor candidate for Brunswick Mike Williams.

Photo: Murray Enders.

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