The develoment of
motor-bus services in the Box Hill/Surrey Hills/Mont Albert areas can be traced back to the 1920s.
It was proposed that a Government-managed bus service be introduced, to run from Box Hill to Melbourne' s CBD
The Government-run service was abandoned, and was started by the privately owned Ventura Bus Company, (formed
in 1924) which ran via the Victoria Bridge
A new bus or tramway line was proposed to run from
Box Hill to Mentone
The Mentone route for a tramway was abandoned, in favour
of the Ventura bus service, which ran over over dirt tracks. The route is similar to the present-day 700 route.
A bus service operated between Box Hill and the Hawthorn Bridge - it used 18 small cabs. It was run by the Box Hill
to Richmond Motor Cabs Owners Association. These were seven-seater cabs known as "Jitneys" and were used across Melbourne.
They were later replaced by full-sized buses.
A new bus service started between Box Hill and Mordialloc
In the 1940s, private buses operated in the eastern suburbs, which included
Canterbury to Richmond
A Jitney bus ran from Canterbury Station, through Camberwell, then down Rathmines Rd in Auburn. These were quite
small, and were mainly introduced for school kids, travelling to and from Auburn Central State School. The author gew up in
Auburn and attended that school, and recalls these little black buses going past the school! It is unknown when these buses
author is indebted to reader Ian Fox for passing along his recollections of the Canterbury-Richmond buses!
"A girl, Dawn Vance, from next door caught this bus to Auburn Central in Rathmines Rd around 1944. The buses
carried school children, workers and shoppers. When crowded, we kids were told get outside and sit on the mudguard leaning
against the engine bonnet. Around 1944 when my mother wanted some peace and quiet, she would take us to the bus stop, chuck
us on the bus, give the driver 6 pence and send us on one circuit to Canterbury, Richmond and back home again. Mobile childminding
As best I remember, these buses ran until the mid 1950’s
and one was bought by an apprentice motor mechanic from the local motor workshop, he cut it down to make a ute and not wanting
to sit alone in the bus drivers seat, he pulled it out and replaced it with an old sofa. It was not unusual to see him driving
around with the sofa sticking out each side of the bus and either his friend sitting beside him topping the beer bottles
to share or his girlfriend snuggling up beside him. Times have changed.
My father grew up on to of the Union road hill in Surrey Hills and my mother near the Mont Albert Station so we have
an interest in the area. (Ian Box)"
Camberwell Junction to
In the 1940s, a bus
service operated from Camberwell Junction, travelling along Buwood Rd through Auburn and Glenferrie, ending at the Hawhorn
The author recalls these green buses very well, as they
passed his home in Burwood Rd (Auburn), and were quite popular for shoppers visiting the Burke Rd and Glenferrie Rds strips.
In the 1940s, a small bus operated from
East Kew to Tooronga. It came down Auburn Rd, Auburn then into Auburn South. It was still operating into the late 1950s
Many new bus routes radiating
from the Plaza were introduced.
Now, several bus companies use the Plaza, including - Ventura, Ivanhoe, Smart Bus and Drivers.