Better Buses for the Mornington Peninsula

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The Mornington Peninsula has the second lowest provision of public transport per person in metropolitan Melbourne.

Council is seeking a fully integrated, smart technology bus network that is frequent, direct and reliable; a bus network within 20-minutes of residents' homes that gets people where they need to go for work, education and services.

To achieve that, the following priorities have been identified:

  • Upgrades to the 788 will help improve the route’s poor frequency and introduce an express service.The route would add two morning and two afternoon peak commuter express services into the timetable. It will also modify route 887 from Mornington onwards to be the same as the 788 – 365 days of the year. The route will be extended to include Frankston Hospital and Monash University.
  • Other upgrades include modifying and increasing the frequencies of the existing bus routes: 781, 782, 783, 784 and 785.
  • Other routes Council is keen to explore include a cross Peninsula bus service and the introduction of a seasonal service to help manage traffic peaks over summer.
  • To be a region that hosts smart technology public transport solutions such as on demand bus services

The cost of this network upgrade will be $10 million per annum.

Community feedback closed 31 January 2020. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the campaign.

 For more information: We're calling for better buses on the Mornington Peninsula(PDF, 15MB)

Mornington Peninsula Shire has suffered from a lack of investment in the transport needs of the region. Surveys of residents have stated that the lack of frequency is a key issue, and that a better-connected bus network is critical for our community. 

At present, 82% of the Peninsula is not serviced by public transport. In fact the Mornington Peninsula Shire has the second lowest provision of public transport out of the 31 councils in the Melbourne metropolitan area. It is little wonder then that Mornington Peninsula Shire residents are five times less likely to travel to work by public transport than Greater Melbourne; a mere 3% of Shire residents take public transport to work, compared with 15% across Greater Melbourne.

We need a fully integrated smart technology bus network to allow residents to access jobs, education and essential services, including health facilities, as well as community activities. These social benefits are a key factor in bringing people in our community closer together, and ensuring vulnerable people including the elderly and people with a disability achieve social equality.  

Public Transport on the Mornington Peninsula is suffering greatly from a prolonged legacy of under-investment. Public transport issues faced on the Mornington Peninsula include:

  • The Mornington Peninsula has the second lowest provision of public transport per person in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Two out of three of the peninsula’s Major Activity Centres are not serviced by train and rely on bus services – the only metropolitan municipality in the state with this situation.
  • 6.3 million visitors annually and only 18% of the Peninsula is serviced by public transport.
  • The Route 788 bus carries over half a million passengers annually with current frequencies from 45 minutes to 100 minutes.
  • More than 50,000 residents are over the age of 60, with many facing challenges with social isolation.

With public transport across Victoria being controlled and managed by the state government, Mornington Peninsula Shire continues to push for improved public transport for its residents, businesses and visitors. 

The Shire, alongside its community, needs to voice current challenges being experienced by public transport users to the state government and encourage them to take action.

The highest profile public bus service on the peninsula is the Route 788, which provides connectivity between the southern peninsula and Frankston.

Currently the service frequencies are approximately 45 minutes during the weekday peak and 75 minutes on weekends.

Given over 500,000 passengers use this service each year, buses are overcrowded during peak times and are sometimes forced to leave some passengers behind.

Mornington Peninsula Shire, in collaboration with Ventura Bus Lines, have been working on proposals to upgrade the Route 788 (Portsea to Frankston) bus service.

These upgrades include:

  • More buses for the 788 to increase frequency.
  • Provision of express services during peak times.
  • Integration of 788 with Route 887 (Rosebud – Monash University) to provide access to Frankston Hospital and Monash University (Frankston Campus) from all 788 stops.

Better Buses route 788


A number of other improvements are also being pursued by both the community and the Shire. These are:

  • 781 (Frankston to Mount Martha) - Re-route to service an additional 1776 households with increase in frequencies; and
  • 782/783 (Frankston to Flinders/Hastings) - Re-route to service additional households, townships and services with increase in frequency. This is also proposed to include on demand deviation to Balnarring Beach/Merricks Beach, Somers and Pt Leo. 
  • 784/785 (Frankston to Mornington) - Re-route to incorporate the significant population growth in Mornington East (including retirement villages along Bungower Road). 
  • Introduction of new bus services:
    • Cross Peninsula Service (Mornington to Hastings); and
    • Peak seasonal services to tourist destination

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To assist us in pursuing public transport improvements across the Peninsula, we are asking the community to write to the Minister for Public Transport about the times you have been impacted by public transport on the Peninsula.

The Hon. Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Public Transport
Level 22, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

The following questions may help you in writing your own letter to the Minister, there is also further information in the sections below.

  • What the proposed route improvements would mean to you?
  • Would you be more likely to use buses if they were more frequent and reliable?
  • Have you ever been left behind by a bus on the Peninsula?
  • What other bus upgrades would you like to see on the Peninsula? Example; a cross peninsula bus service (to and from), on demand bus services (where would you use this on the Peninsula).

Email the Minister