The suburb of Macgregor, located in West Belconnen, was gazetted on 9 September 1971. Bus services commenced the following year, with an extension of the existing Route 40 from Holt providing coverage from 30 October 1972.

Route 40 had operated from the City to the intersection of Beaurepaire Cr and Southern Cross Dr, a 37 minute journey via Aranda, Macquarie, Page, Scullin, and Higgins. The initial extension saw Route 40 travel to Macgregor Shops on Osburn Dr (at Cannan Cr) via O’Reilly St. Services operated approximately half hourly during daytime, and hourly in the evenings.

Route 40 weekday timetableNovember 1972

By August 1974, the service had been extended to operate along Archdall St to the Macgregor Terminus on Alleyne Cl. Some inbound services also bypassed Macquarie and Aranda during the morning peak, operating direct to the City via Belconnen Way.

Route 45 was introduced by mid-1975. Operating between Higgins Interchange and Fraser, it ran along the length of Florey Dr. Route 45 ran half-hourly on weekdays, and hourly on weekends.

Macgregor and surrounding suburbs on the 1976 Network Map. From the terminus on Alleyne Close, Route 40 travelled to the City via Archdall St, Osburn Dr, O’Reilly St, Southern Cross Dr, Beaurepaire Cr, Starke St, Fullagar Cr (Higgins Interchange), Castieau St, Kingsford Smith Dr, Wirraway Cr, Ross Smith Cr, McInnes St, Chewings St, Petterd St, Belconnen Way, Coulter Dr, Lachlan St, Bennelong St, Lachlan St, Redfern St, Bowman St, Redfern St, Bindubi St, Belconnen Way, Barry Dr, Marcus Clarke St, and Alinga St.

Macgregor was also serviced on Florey Dr by Route 45, which ran between Higgins Interchange and Fraser West.

In 1977, Route 40 reverted to operating only between Higgins interchange and the City. Route 49 was introduced to replace the northern leg of the 40 between Higgins Interchange and Macgregor Terminus. Route 49 operated half-hourly on weekdays, and hourly on weekends.

Bus 476 pictured at Macgregor Terminus in 1976. Image – RATEC Collection.

Interestingly, outbound services from Higgins Interchange operated on demand after the last scheduled departure at 9.56pm, until the arrival of the last Route 16 bus. Route 16 was, at the time, the intertown route between Higgins and Woden (via the City). The last scheduled Route 16 arrived into Higgins at 11.37pm.

In July 1977, Route 440 was introduced, operating from Latham to Melba via Kippax and Charnwood. The route operated hourly on between 9.30am and 2.30pm on weekdays, and travelled via O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr, Archdall St, Handcock Cr, and Florey Dr.

To coincide with the opening of Belconnen Interchange in 1979, a revised bus network was developed. Under the new network, Route 49 was discontinued, and Macgregor was served by a loop service – Route 451 (anticlockwise) and Route 452 (clockwise) operated from Belconnen through Flynn South, Charnwood Shops, Florey Dr, Handcock Cr, Archdall St, Osburn Dr, O’Reilly St, Southern Cross Dr, Kippax, Higgins, and Scullin. Route 450 (effectively replacing the 45) also operated along Florey Dr between Belconnen and Fraser East.

The 1980s

In late 1981, separate weekend services were introduced. Macgregor was served by Route 462, which operated via O’Reilly St and Osburn Dr (north) to Florey Dr. Archdall St and Handcock Cr were not serviced. The 450 also ceased to operate.

Area Services also operated during the evening on Mondays through Saturdays – Macgregor was covered by Route 493 (along with Florey and Latham). Outbound services departed Belconnen Interchange every half hour between 7pm and 11pm. Passengers wishing to board a service elsewhere were required to make a telephone booking.

The 451 and 452 were discontinued, and replaced by the 454 and 455. Both services ran approximately half-hourly on weekdays, and hourly on Saturday mornings between Belconnen Interchange and Macgregor Terminus:

  • Route 454 operated via Lathlain Street, Scullin, Higgins, Kippax, Florey Dr, and Handcock Cr.
  • Route 455 operated via Holt South, Kippax, O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr, and Archdall St.
Bus 670, resting at Belconnen layover ahead of operating Route 455 to Macgregor.

In 1987, an internal review of services as well as a study of longer term public transport needs had been conducted. A simplified network (albeit with seperate weekday and weekend networks) was prepared, with the following changes proposed for Macgregor:

  • Route 454 deleted. Passengers from Handcock Cr would use new Route 456 (peak only) and those on Florey Dr using Route 450 (which was to be reintroduced, having been removed some years earlier).
  • Route 455 varied elsewhere along the route, which would operate weekdays only.
  • Route 456 introduced, which would operate from Belconnen Interchange to Macgregor during weekday peak hours only, along Southern Cross Dr, Osburn Dr, Archall St, and Handcock Cr.
  • Route 462 continuing to operate as previously on weekends
  • Route 468 operated along Florey Dr on weekends en route between Fraser West and Belconnen.

The proposed weekday bus network for Macgregor in 1987. The suburb would primarily be serviced by Route 455, supplemented by Route 456 during peak, and Routes 450 and 470 along boundary arterials.

Network ’88 was introduced on 4 July 1988, and represented a significant change to the network. The changes proposed in 1987 were implemented for Macgregor. The 455 operated half hourly in each direction, while the 456 operated three inbound services in the morning, and three outbound services in the afternoon. The 456 terminated at the intersection of Handcock Cr and Florey Dr, rather than at the Macgregor Terminus at Alleyne Cl. The 462 operated hourly on weekends.

The 1990s

A Network revision in 1992 saw the introduction of Commuter Express services from selected suburbs into the City. Macgregor was one such suburb, with Route 740 commencing operation during the weekday peak hours. The previous peak service (Route 456, which only operated to Belconnen) was deleted.

Route 740 ran two inbound services in the morning, and three outbound services in the afternoon. The average service time was approximately 35 minutes. The route commenced at the intersection of Florey Dr and Handcock Cr, and travelled via Handcock Cr, Archdall St, Osburn Dr, O’Reilly St, Southern Cross Dr, Kingsford Smith Dr, and Belconnen Way/Barry Dr.

Macgregor on the 1993 Network Map.

Routes 450 (Florey Dr) and 455 (Archdall/Osburn/O’Reilly) continued to provide a weekday service, and Route 462 and 468 provided weekend coverage. Routes 450 and 468 was amended to service the southern end of Osburn Dr and O’Reilly St rather than operating the length of Florey Dr.

Bus 674 arrives at Belconnen after completing Route 405

Changes under Network ’94 introduced new weekday services for Macgregor. Routes 405 (Anti-Clockwise) and 406 (Clockwise) operated via Florey, Melba, Fraser, Charnwood, Macgregor, and Kippax. It provided a service to Southern Cross Dr, O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr (South) and Florey Dr. Both services operated weekdays only. Southern Cross Dr was also covered by Routes 407/408, which otherwise served Holt, Higgins, Latham, Scullin, Page, and Florey.

Route 409 provided more comprehensive service for Macgregor. Commencing at Macgregor Terminus, it operated via Archdall St, Osburn Dr, O’Reilly St and Southern Cross Dr, before continuing to Belconnen via Holt, Kippax, Higgins, and Scullin. It operated weekdays only, on a half hourly frequency.

Under Network 96, weekend Route 462 ceased to terminate at Macgregor Terminus, instead continuing to Lance Hill Ave in Dunlop via Handcock Cr, Florey Dr, and Ginninderra Dr.

The initial plan for Network ’97 saw Macgregor’s services again change, with inclusion under Belconnen Loops 409 and 410, which also served Holt and Higgins. The routes managed to implement an actual loop of Macgregor, entering via O’Reilly St before travelling via Osburn Dr, Archdall St, Handcock Cr, Florey Dr, and Osburn Dr (South) before returning to O’Reilly St.

This also appears to be the first suggestion of Macgregor Terminus being discontinued from use. While some services did terminate in Macgregor, this occurred at the intersection of Handcock Cr and Foreman Pl (the last street before Florey Dr).

A ‘Kippax Shopper’ Route 416 was also introduced, providing a link for Charnwood and Fraser residents to Kippax via Handcock Cr, Archdall St, Osburn Dr, and O’Reilly St. The 416 operated between January 1997 and January 1999. The 740, and weekend services, remained unchanged.

The final version of Network 97 saw the 409/410 loop use Florey Dr rather than the southern end of Osburn Dr. Route 416 operated an hourly clockwise loop from Kippax, between 9.30am and 2.30pm. Route 740, and the weekend services continued unchanged.

Network 98 introduced a significant change to Canberra’s bus network.

Macgregor was now served by Route 46, which operated from Fraser to Belconnen via Dunlop, Charnwood Shops, Macgregor, and Kippax. Route 246 operated during peak periods, operating the same route to Belconnen before continuing to the City, Russell, and Barton. The two routes operated through Macgregor along O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr, Archdall St, Handcock St and Florey Dr. Routes 213 and 313 also operated along Florey Dr, and Routes 44 and 244 operated along Southern Cross Dr between Spofforth St and Beaurepaire Cr.

The 2000s

Network 2000 saw further changes to bus services in Macgregor. Florey Dr gained Route 13, although this was simply a short-working version of the 313, operating between Fraser and Belconnen. The 213 was discontinued due to low patronage.

Macgregor on the 2000 Network Map

Routes 43 and 243 were introduced, to better integrate Dunlop into the overall network. Route 43 operated as a loop from Belconnen, via Kippax, Macgregor, Charnwood Shops, and Dunlop. Route 243 operated as a peak extension, continuing beyond Belconnen to the City, Russell, Parkes, and Barton. The 243 terminated at Macgregor Shops (essentially the corner of Osburn Dr and Cannon Cr) as the former terminus at Alleyne Cl was no longer in use. Routes 43 and 243 operated on weekdays only.

Bus 104, ready to commence Route 243 to Macgregor. Photo – ACT Bus Collection

Route 43 entered Macgregor via O’Reilly St, before operating along Osburn Dr, Archall St, Handcock Cr, Florey Dr, Lhotsky St, Tillyard Dr, Ginninderra Dr, Lance Hill Ave (to the first roundabout), Ginninderra Dr, Archdall St, Osburn Dr, and back out via O’Reilly St. Following completion of the road network, it was amended to travel along Lance Hill Avenue to Kerrigan St, returning to Archdall via Kerrigan and Ginninderra Dr.

Route 46 remained in operation but was demoted to weeknight and weekend operation only.

In September 2004, Xpresso routes were introduced. These provided an express service to the City from selected suburbs, much like their equivalents from the 1990s. Route 703 operated from Fraser to Barton via Dunlop, Macgregor, the City, and Russell during peak periods. Through Macgregor, it operated along Archdall St, Osburn Dr, and O’Reilly St.

Bus 985 operating Route 703, which passed through Macgregor en route to Fraser West.

Flexible night-time services made a return in April 2005 under the Flexibus brand, with Macgregor coming under Route 943, along with Latham, Florey, Page North, and the Belconnen town centre. Again, passengers travelling from Belconnen could board a scheduled bus, but those catching a bus from elsewhere would need to book their pickup via phone.

By the end of 2006, Flexibus was gone, and fixed evening and weekend services were back. Macgregor was included on evening and weekend Route 905, which operated between Belconnen Interchange and Fraser West, via Page, Scullin, Higgins, Holt, Macgregor, and Dunlop. Through Macgregor, the service operated along O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr, Archdall St, Handcock Cr, and Florey Dr. Route 903 also ran along Florey Dr and Southern Cross Dr. The other services (13, 43, 46, 243, 313) continued as normal.

Macgregor on the 2006 (Daytime) Network Map

The next Network update in April 2007 saw Route 46 dumped, on the basis that it would be replaced by additional trips on Routes 43 and 45. By the end of its existence, the 46 only operated five inbound and six outbound trips on weekdays, between 9am and 3pm.

In June 2008, Route 243 was discontinued, with passengers advised to use Route 703 (or Route 710 from Belconnen Interchange) instead.

The 2010s

In 2010, Route 44 (which primarily serviced Scullin, Higgins, and Holt) was amended to also service the newly established Macgregor West. The route operated along Macfarlane Burnett Ave, turning around at the roundabout at Eccles Cct.

In 2014, a revised network was introduced following a period of consultation. Macgregor West remained serviced by Route 44 (with a streamlined route to Belconnen), and gain access to Xpresso Route 744 a weekend Route 904. These services continued slightly further along Macfarlane Burnett Av, now turning around at Constance Stone St.

Macgregor East was serviced by Route 43 (Fraser to Belconnen via Dunlop, Macgregor, and Kippax), travelling along O’Reilly St, Osburn Dr, and Archdall St. However, coverage would primarily be provided by Route 343 (the same route, but extending to Tuggeranong via the City and Woden) with the suburb being included on the ‘blue rapid’ network. Route 743 operated during peak, travelling onto Russell and Barton rather than Woden and Tuggeranong. Florey Dr continued to be covered by the 13/313 combination. Handcock Cr lost its service.

In 2018, consultation commenced for Network 2019, a seven day network. Route 13, 43, 313, 343, 743 and 744 were deleted, with Route R2 effectively replacing the 343 between Fraser West and the City (and then continuing to the Railway Station in Kingston). The R2 would travel the same way through Macgregor East as the 43/343/743, while Macgregor West would retain the 44. Florey Dr would be covered by Route 40, which operated from Fraser West to Belconnen via Charnwood, Kippax, Latham, and Florey.

Macgregor on the 2019 Network Map.

The 2020s

Under Network ’23, Routes 40 and 42 were combined, creating a new loop service to avoid layovers at Fraser West. Florey Drive is now serviced by the 40 (operating towards Fraser) and the 42 (operating towards Belconnen).

In 2020, Route 903 was introduced to provide a loop service from Kippax for the new suburb of Strathnairn. Selected services on Route 903 travel via Macgregor Primary.

Other services

Some other services that have operated through Macgregor include:

  • Route 28 – Afternoon school service from Macgregor Primary to Osburn Dr, Archdall St, Handcock Cr, Florey Dr, Lhotsky St, Tillyard Dr, Ginninderra Dr, Companion Cr. This service appears to have operated from at least 1989 until 1998
  • Routes 3B, 191, 490, 914, 972 – Nightrider
  • Routes 5, 95, 905 – Christmas Day
  • Selected services on regular routes (such as the 343) diverted via Hirschfield Cr to provide a service to Macgregor Primary.

This page was last updated on 31 January 2023