A new life for a retired PTV bus

The other night out in St Kilda I saw an interesting looking bus – painted all black with a massive ‘Addikted To Ink’ logo on the side, it looked like one of the buses that Transdev Melbourne used to operate in Melbourne. But was it?

'Addikted To Ink' party bus converted from a retired PTV bus

Looking up the company name, I found the bus featured on the ‘Ride with Addikted’ Facebook page – their game being “Premium bus transport service: Birthdays, Hens, Bucks, Corporate events, Weddings & more!”.

The bus has national heavy vehicle plate number “XV22LW”, so my next step was to look up the registration plate on the VicRoads website.

Registration number:

Registration status & expiry date:
Current – 04/06/2024



Engine number:

Registration serial number:

Compliance plate / RAV entry date:

I then searched online for the VIN of “WMAA66ZZ05C005571” – and found this expired auction listing on the machines4u website.

Showing a bus with a mismatched livery of white, blue and orange – a common sight for buses originally delivered to the National Bus Company, and then rebranded for Public Transport Victoria after their takeover by Transdev Melbourne in 2013.

With the full story becoming clear when I put the VIN into the search at the Australian Bus Fleet Lists site, which brought this up.

Transdev Melbourne

North Fitzroy

Fleet Number


Chassis Type
MAN 15.220

Chassis No

Body Manufacturer
Custom Coaches “CB30”

Body No

Body Date


And with registration plate 5840AO on hand, I then searched my collection of photos, and what did I get – a photo of the bus in service with Transdev Melbourne back in June 2015.

Transdev bus #544 rego 5840AO on a route 235 service along Collins Street

And a parting shot from 2012, with the bus in the National Bus Company blue livery.

National Bus #544 5840AO at the Clifton Hill interchange

Quite the journey indeed!

Footnote – another ex-Transdev bus

I spotted another ex-Transdev CB30 bus in the back blocks of Ballarat earlier this year – where the wet weather and lack of shelter have not been kind to it.

Ex-Transdev CB30 bus #561 now privately owned in Ballarat

Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “A new life for a retired PTV bus”

  1. Graeme Hammond says:

    Interesting! And great detective work.

    But it’s also revealing to see the age of the bus — 18! I find some of the heaviest polluting heavy vehicles on the road are buses going about their daily business, spewing out clouds of grey-black diesel exhaust in residential areas that makes us all sicker. So many of them need to be scrapped.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      18 years is younger than some route buses still in service – normally they stay in frontline service until 15 years old, then a few years demoted to peak use only, before their initial owner sells them around age 20 years, and they get sold to charter or rail replacement bus operators.

  2. Andrew Cee says:

    Your research is impeccable. The sister bus in Ballarat looks rather sad.

    Off topic but as we sat in the gutter as we brunched in Commercial Road, Prahran yesterday, two of the four Alfred Hospital bound buses were electric. They were just so quiet and we weren’t gassed by diesel fumes. I’m loving these electric buses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *