Metropolitan Transit Authority (Victoria)

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) was a Government of Victoria owned corporate body that operated suburban passenger trains, trams and buses in Victoria, Australia. It was set up under Section 15 of the Transport Act 1983 and commenced operation on 1 July 1983.[1][2] It was a statutory body set up to manage the trams formerly operated by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board, the metropolitan train operations of the former VicRail, and the operations of the former Melbourne Underground Rail Loop Authority.

Metropolitan Transit Authority
State-owned corporation overview
Formed1 July 1983
Preceding agencies
Dissolved30 June 1989
Superseding agency
Key document

The authority employed more than 12,000 people across five divisions in 1984/85. The aim of the authority was to integrate the provision of public transport in Melbourne. A green and gold livery was adopted for vehicles, with a yellow trefoil logo and "Metropolitan Transit" tagline (later changed to "The Met"). In April 1985 it purchased Melbourne-Brighton Bus Lines with 37 buses. A single Harris train was painted in a trial all-over green and gold livery (similar to the previous Victorian Railways blue and gold livery) however the train reverted to blue prior to reentering service, with subsequent Comeng, Hitachi and refurbished Harris trains receiving only green and yellow adhesive stickers between the windows rather than being painted. Non-refurbished Harris trains retained the Victorian Railways blue and gold until their withdrawal.


Metropolitan rail services were previously operated by VicRail. The MetRail division was established as part of MTA, and worked closely with the State Transport Authority (STA) to provide suburban rail services. The MTA provided funds to the STA to operate some train services on its behalf and for capital projects relating to MetRail.

The Met Bus and Met Tram divisions took over the services operated by the former Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board.

By 11 April 1988, integration of the transport systems had been achieved and the separate divisions brought together. The management of the MTA was restructured into three vertically integrated directorates concerning operations, project development and resources. The MTA was merged with the STA on 1 July 1989[3] to form the Public Transport Corporation (PTC).

The PTC was privatised in stages in the 1990s. In December 1993, the Doncaster East and North Fitzroy bus depots were taken over by the National Bus Company. The remaining bus operations out of Footscray and Sandringham depots were taken over by Melbourne Bus Link in April 1998.

In October 1997 in preparation for privatisation, the PTC's suburban rail and tram operations were split into separate business units, Bayside Trains, Hillside Trains, Swanston Trams and Yarra Trams.[4][5][6] All were privatised in August 1999.[7][8]


  1. "Victoria's bold venture into centrally planned transport" Railway Gazette International August 1983 page 594
  2. "Changes in Victoria" Trolley Wire issue 208 October 1983 page 19
  3. Due to the commencement of the Transport (Amendment) Act 1989.
  4. "Melbourne's Rail Network to be Split" Railway Digest November 1997 page 12
  5. "City in Brief" Railway Gazette International December 1997 page 835
  6. Melbourne Metropolitan Rail (Train and Tram) Franchising Project
  7. "NEG conquers Oz" Rail Magazine issue 363 11 August 1999 page 11
  8. National Express Group Awarded Three Franchises National Express June 1999
Preceded by
Victorian Railways
Railways in Melbourne
1983 1989
Succeeded by
Public Transport Corporation
Preceded by
Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board
Trams in Melbourne
1983 1989
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