Brisbane Transport

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

Volgren bodied MAN 18.310
ParentBrisbane City Council
Service areaBrisbane
Service typeBus services
Fleet1,228 (July 2019)


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.


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


Bus upgrade zone

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]


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 at a cost of $1.6 million per annum. The route has decreased the journey time between Eight Mile Plains and Chermside, removing the need to transfer buses 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]


As at February 2018, the fleet consisted of 1,240 buses.[9]

Two-axle buses

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 from 2009 on), and smaller numbers of older CNG-powered Scania L94UBs (2000–2005), all low-floor, accessible and air-conditioned.

Three-axle buses

BT operates two models of three-axle "tag" buses, the Scania K310UB (2008) and the Volvo B12BLE, both diesel-powered and delivered from 2008 on. These larger buses are used on high-demand trunk routes, mostly on the South East Busway.

Articulated buses

Articulated buses currently used by Brisbane Transport are the CNG-powered MAN NG313s, delivered from 2007 to 2008 and the diesel-powered Volvo B8RLEAs, delivered from 2018 on.


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

Chassis Body Years Delivered Fleet Numbers Number Built Notes
Scania L94UB Volgren CR224L 2000-2005 625-665, 667-842 217 Powered by compressed natural gas, currently being withdrawn from service. Currently, 8 remain in service as of November 2019; these are 626, the oldest bus in Brisbane, 19 years old, 627,630,633,646,650,676 and 677
MAN 18.310 (CNG) Volgren CR228L 2005-2009 1200-1523 324 Powered by compressed natural gas. T1203 was withdrawn from service in March 2019 after an accident and T1200 was the first bus to be withdrawn from service due to old age.
MAN 18.310 (Diesel) Volgren CR228L 2008-2009 1001-1066 66 Selected buses from Toowong were formerly used for Blue CityGlider services; they have now been superseded by the B8RLEs.
Volvo B7RLE Volgren CR228L 2009-2013 1801-2071 271 S1980 was withdrawn from service in 2016 when it was involved in an arson attack that killed the driver. Buses 1889 onwards feature the TransLink logo on the side of the buses.
Volvo B7RLE Volgren Optimus 2013-2018 2072-2353 281 Marked the beginning of all Brisbane Transport buses being delivered with the Optimus Body.
Volvo B5RLEH Volgren Optimus 2015 1595 1 This is a Hybrid Demonstrator Bus.
Volvo B8RLE Volgren Optimus 2017- 2801- 68 (so far) 68 currently in service as of Early November 2019. The new buses are only located at the depot's in Virginia (2801-2816) and Toowong (2817-) with the Virginia buses being used around the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane and the Toowong Buses being used around the Western Suburbs. Buses T2818, T2819, T2848 and T2849 are in Special Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander liveries, named Distinguish, Two Worlds, Connections and Dreaming respectively. Buses T2820-T2836 and 2838 are all in the Blue City Glider livery while T2837 is in a Rainbow City Glider livery. Originally, buses 2817, 2818 and 2819 were located at the Virginia Bus Depot but during October 2019, they were relocated to Toowong.
Scania K310UB Volgren CR228L 2009 5001-5008 8 These buses were originally numbered 1701-1708 but they were renumbered so that more than 100 3 axle buses could be given sequential fleet numbers.
Volvo B12BLE Volgren CR228L 2010-2013 5009-5157 149 Buses 5009 to 5030 were originally numbered 1709 to 1730.
MAN NG313 Custom Coaches CB60 Evo II 2007-2008 1601-1630 30 Only Bus 1601 was in the Brisbane Transport's 'Clean Air' promotional livery which was applied to all of the Scania and MAN Two Axle Buses that were powered by Natural Gas.
Volvo B8RLEA Volgren Optimus 2018 1631-1650 20 Most commonly used only on the Busway routes, however on special occasions such as the annual Riverfire, they are used on other trunk routes such as the 444 and 100.


Brisbane Transport operates its services from seven depots for specified areas. Some of these depots service routes shared in overlapping areas with other depots. Generally, each of Brisbane Transport's buses is allocated to a particular depot, displays a letter prefix for that depot before its fleet number, and hence is assigned to specific routes.

DepotLetter CodeLocationOpened[10]ClosedCNG FuellingServices / Comments
CarinaC27.490371°S 153.102078°E / -27.490371; 153.1020781969-NoAll eastern routes and some south-eastern routes from Garden City to Wynnum and Bulimba
Eagle FarmE27.427984°S 153.086427°E / -27.427984; 153.0864272013-NoSome northern routes; all routes between New Farm and West End.
Garden CityG27.56655°S 153.086731°E / -27.56655; 153.0867311994-YesSouth-eastern routes from Browns Plains and Sunnybank to Wishart and Coorparoo. This depot is also the location of Brisbane Transport's head office.
SherwoodS2012-NoWestern, south-western and north-western routes.
ToowongT27.479235°S 152.983482°E / -27.479235; 152.9834821967YesSouth-western and north-western routes from Brookside and The Gap to Inala and Forest Lake.
VirginiaV27.365889°S 153.060885°E / -27.365889; 153.0608851998-NoMost northern routes from Nudgee Beach and Brighton to Brookside and the Gap.
WillawongW27.598531°S 153.004103°E / -27.598531; 153.0041032009-YesPrimarily southern routes, some shared with other southern depots.
Bowen HillsA27.435975°S 153.042313°E / -27.435975; 153.04231320002013NoSome northern routes; all routes between New Farm and West End. Closed in 2013 with the opening of the new depot at Eagle Farm.
RichlandsR27.601259°S 152.957395°E / -27.601259; 152.95739519972013NoA satellite depot of the Toowong depot, it shared services on western routes, and some services to Garden City.
LarapintaL27.643171°S 153.007364°E / -27.643171; 153.00736420072012NoA 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 RidgeB27.331658°S 153.02982°E / -27.331658; 153.0298219962001NoOnly ever intended as a short-term depot, it was closed in 2001, several years after the Virginia depot had opened.
Cribb Street, Milton-27.469226°S 153.007858°E / -27.469226; 153.007858?1983NoNever a formal depot, the site was occasionally used as temporary storage for buses owing to its proximity to the Milton bus and tram workshops. Last used in 1983.
Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba-27.489505°S 153.035731°E / -27.489505; 153.0357311969?1974NoOriginally 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, NewsteadL27.451323°S 153.038617°E / -27.451323; 153.0386171885?NoClosed for commercial redevelopment. First used as a depot in 1885 when it was the main tram depot for Brisbane's horse tram network. Until 1968, buses shared the depot with trams, the buses being 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-27.467217°S 153.00958°E / -27.467217; 153.00958?1969NoShared 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


  1. Birrell, RA (1987). Brisbane City Council Bus Fleet. Elizabeth, South Australia: Railmac Publications. pp. 4–6. ISBN 0 949817 66 X.
  2. 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 (ed.), 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  6. "TransLink Bus Timetables". Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. 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. 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.
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