Public Transport

Doncaster Rail

Manningham is the only Melbourne metropolitan municipality without train or tram services. For many years Manningham Council has been advocating on behalf of the community for a rail link to Doncaster Hill and beyond.

In late 2010, the Victorian State Government appointed consultants URS to undertake a feasibility study for a heavy rail line to Doncaster. In March 2013 the draft ‘Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Recommendations Report’ was released. The draft report recommended a rapid Transit Line along the Eastern Freeway as the preferred route alignment. Such a route could be expected to carry 56,000 passengers per day. However, the draft report failed to recommend that the line extend as far as Doncaster Hill.

The report also identified a number of rail network capacity challenges that would need to be addressed before a rail line to Doncaster could be introduced to the network. These challenges include measures to increase the number of trains that can be operated on the busy South Morang and Hurstbridge group of lines.

Doncaster Rail is a low priority in Infrastructure Victoria's future plan and is a long term initiative (15-20 years). 

Public Transport Advocacy

The lack of public transport options has consistently been listed as a major issue for the people who live and work in Manningham. Council established the Doncaster Rail Advisory Steering Committee (DRASC) In 2012 to advocate to the State Government for improved public transport in Melbourne's East through the provision of a heavy rail link to Doncaster.

In 2016, DRASC was disbanded and an Intergrated Transport Advisory Committee (ITAC) was formed to advocate more broadly for public transport improvements within and to and from Manningham. 

Bus Service Improvements

Over the past few years, significant improvements have been made to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit service which provides high frequency buses between Manningham and the CBD and to and from Activity Centres in Manningham. Improvements have also been made to the Orbital SmartBus routes, including:

  • Upgraded buses
  • More frequent services (less than 10 minutes in peak times, 15 minutes for the rest of the day, and 30 minutes in off-peak times and weekends)
  • Operation until midnight every day of the week, with services commencing at 5.00am Monday - Friday, 6.00am on Saturday and 7.00am on Sunday
  • Improved technology - dynamic signal priority
  • Greater reliability
  • Real time information
  • Disability Discrimination Act compliant bus stops.

The Red Orbital SmartBus service (route 903) runs from Mordialloc to Altona. The Green Orbital SmartBus service (route 902) runs between Chelsea and Airport West. Both the Red and Green Orbital routes stop at Westfield Doncaster.

For timetable information and bus services information please visit the Public Transport Victoria website.

Doncaster Road Bus Priority Proposal

VicRoads has installed part-time bus lanes and extended clearways along Doncaster Road to improve bus reliability and travel times.

Bus lanes and clearways will reduce delays by giving buses priority on the road during peak hours - resulting in quicker, more reliable bus journeys along this busy public transport route.

For more information visit   

Bus Network Review

Council is seeking accelerated State Government funding for a metropolitan Bus Network Review, infrastructure improvements and creation of a Bus Rapid Transit system along the Eastern Freeway. To find out more, download a copy of the Bus Network Review.  

North East Link

The State Government has announced the preferred route for the North East Link toll road connecting the Western Ring Road with the Eastern Freeway. Option A (the Bulleen corridor) is the preferred option. Council has resolved not to support Option A due to its impact on open space, local businesses and community sporting facilities.

The project will deliver benefits to Manningham residents, with the proposed construction of a Doncaster Busway and improved travel times along the Eastern Freeway. 

Council will engage further with the State Government following the release of a technical feasibility study in early 2018.

To find our more visit the North East Link website.