The National Bus Company
, or NBC
, was the Australian brand for National Express Group
's mass transit bus
services in Melbourne
. Its sister companies were Westbus
, and Glenorie
in Sydney, Southern Coast Transit
The National Bus Company purchased the Public Transport Corporation
's bus services in the Northern and Northeastern suburbs of Melbourne, centred around Doncaster
. NBC's purchase of these services was part of a privatisation
program undertaken by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett
, which also saw the sale of inner city bus services to the Melbourne Bus Link
consortium of Reservoir Bus Company
and Dyson's Bus Services
National Bus Company commenced operations on the 27th December 1993 with a fleet made up of former Government owned buses including MAN SL200s and Volvo B59s. The company acquired two depots located at Doncaster and Fitzroy North.
In 1994, National introduced the first of 56 Mercedes-Benz LO812 mini buses. These buses were introduced under National's plan to introduce bus services in local areas previously not serviced by bus routes.
In addition, between 1997 and 2005, National has undergone extensive fleet modernisation programs in order to phase out Volvo B59s and early model MAN SL200s. This has involved the purchase of 68 Mercedes-Benz O405 series buses along with 53 low floor MAN buses.
In September 2004, National Bus Company was on-sold to Ventura Bus Lines upon National Express Group's withdrawal from the Melbourne market. Ventura has announced that it will continue to use the "National" brand in the Melbourne market until at least 2009, when government bus contracts will come up for renewal. Buses purchased prior to Ventura's acquisition continue to use National's yellow-and-red livery, while buses acquired since Ventura's purchase are in Ventura's light blue, dark blue and yellow livery.
- Doncaster East
- North Fitzroy
National Bus Company took over operation of the failing bus service in the Redlands
in 1997 known as Bayside Buslines
. Based in Capalaba
, the scheduled service and charter operator gradually expanded its operations and replaced the aging Bayside fleet. In 2000 it acquired the company known as Redlands Transport
. One year later, in 2001, National Bus drivers won the coveted safety and professionalism award from Queensland Transport
. However in late 2003, the company was acquired by Veolia