Council supports establishment of Queensland’s first bus museum

Brisbane City Council is actively supporting the establishment of Queensland’s first bus museum under a new sponsorship arrangement with the museum’s operator and charitable organisation, the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society (QOCS).

In an exciting development for the people of Brisbane, part of Council’s rich bus transport heritage dating back to its formation in 1925, will soon be on public display for the very first time.

Since September 2022, a State Government owned facility at 600 Mains Road, Nathan (adjacent to the Nissan Arena inside the QSAC complex) has been transformed by QOCS to become the “Brisbane Transport Museum” to showcase rare and historically significant items of the Queensland bus industry. 

QOCS owns the largest fleet of vintage buses in Queensland with a current fleet of 22 vehicles spanning from 1938 to 1996 models, the majority of which were operated for Council and form a significant part of Brisbane’s bus transport heritage.  

QOCS also possesses a large collection of rare photos and industry memorabilia that have not previously been showcased to the public on a permanent basis.

The QOCS bus fleet is spearheaded by one of Brisbane’s oldest buses still in existence today, a 1948 AEC Regal III, which first entered service in June 1948 when Brisbane City Council became the State’s largest operator of buses, which remains the case today.  

One of the oldest Brisbane buses still in existence today, bus 80 a 1948 AEC Regal III, is on display at the Brisbane Transport Museum.

In announcing the sponsorship arrangement, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the museum offered an important connection to Brisbane’s past as the city prepares for an exciting transport future.

 “Buses are by far the most popular mode of public transport in Brisbane so what better place to have Queensland’s first dedicated bus museum,” Cr Schrinner said.

 “I remember when people were travelling on buses with no air-conditioning in summer and now Brisbane is home to Australia’s most modern bus fleet.

 “The arrival of Brisbane Metro is another chapter in Brisbane’s transport evolution, with a fleet of fully-electric vehicles providing turn-up-and-go transport along our city’s busway network from next year.

 “At a time when Brisbane Metro is transforming our city’s public transport network, this museum will bring back some familiar transport memories from our city’s past.

 “We look forward to having another fantastic museum here in Brisbane for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Three of 10 preserved Brisbane City Council buses on display at the Brisbane Transport Museum. Pictured from left to right is bus 721 (1970 Leyland Panther), bus 544 (1996 Volvo B10L), and bus 100 (1983 MAN SL200).

Civic Cabinet Chair for Transport, Councillor Ryan Murphy said this museum would be a wealth of transport history on our doorstep.

 “Buses have been part of Brisbane’s history for almost 100 years and this collection will showcase the evolution of our city’s transport network,” Cr Murphy said.

“We’re proud to support the important work of the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society in preserving our past and ensuring these pieces of our history are accessible for years to come.”

Civic Cabinet Chair for Transport, Councillor Ryan Murphy, and QOCS President, Nick Wilson, officially opened the Brisbane Transport Museum on Saturday, 25 November 2023.

“Our efforts to secure and save Brisbane’s transport heritage have been supported by Council for several years now, and we are really excited to continue this relationship by having them join as a founding sponsor of the Brisbane Transport Museum”, stated QOCS President, Nick Wilson.

“A dedicated team of volunteer members have been working very hard behind the scenes for over 12 months to put together a comprehensive display showcasing over a century’s worth of transport progress”, Mr Wilson stated.

The Brisbane Transport Museum will officially open to the public on Saturday, 3 February 2024. Further details can be found here.

The Brisbane Transport Museum is proudly sponsored by Brisbane City Council