Bendigo public transport map

Untangling a bowl of spaghetti

Public transport map of Bendigo

Victoria is the most urbanised state in Australia; 76 percent of the state’s residents live in Greater Melbourne. Despite this increasing agglomeration of people and economic activity, Victoria’s regional cities are also growing in size and importance.

One of these is Bendigo. Located 147 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, it has had a number of recent public transport improvements. Two of the most notable are the bus network reforms from January 2016 and the ‘Bendigo Metro‘ rail improvements.

The Network

Bendigo is serviced by 16 bus routes. All of these terminate or run past Bendigo Railway Station (except for the 71). The three other stations located in or near the city centre (Eaglehawk, Epsom and Kangaroo Flat) are serviced by at least one bus route.

The Map

The existing official map for Bendigo is based on the area’s physical geography. As a result, the lines are intertwined and have every little turn and deviation. It is definitely not an easy map to read.

Once again, schematic principles come to the rescue!

As usual, this map is based on connections rather than geography. Trying to untangle lines was difficult in some places, especially with the large number around Bendigo Station.

This required a slightly different approach. Rather than map each line as a separate colour, I grouped them together based on direction and relationships with other lines.. Each group is represented by a different colour.

Importantly, groups are mapped as single paths rather than as individual lines. This reduces visual clutter and makes it easier to follow lines along their route.

Line groups and colours

In a similar fashion to the design for Melbourne’s tram network, I have grouped lines into four groups.


Group Lines Notes
Purple 51, 52, 53, 54 North-western lines. All service Eaglehawk Station except for the 54.
Green 5, 50, 55, 65 Lines travelling from the south-west to north-east. The 5 and 55 form a semi-cohesive circular route at some points
Blue 60, 61, 63, 70 Eastern lines. The 70 was originally intended to form its own colour group but I added it into this one for simplicity and to improve map legibility.
Orange 62, 65 The two lines servicing Spring Gully to the south.


The main aim here is to make the lines easier to read. At the moment, line colours on the PTV map are randomly selected from a standard colour palette. There are some advantages to this approach but it does make the map more difficult to understand. Particularly if you are trying to follow one line.

One other point to note is the exclusion of the 71 and the Bendigo-Heathcote bus lines. I opted not to include them on this map as neither technically serve Bendigo proper. On the PTV map, both are out of the boundary, such is their geographic reach. To my mind, the utility of including them in this map would be minimal. Happy to discuss this further with people who are more familiar with the network.


I have opted not to include icons for interchanges on this map. The main reason for leaving them out is to avoid visual clutter. I also believe that it is superfluous information in this case on a relatively small network where lines converge along common routes.


I was originally going to include a lot more local landmarks on this map. This has been consistent feedback from some of my previous projects as people feel that they are useful to orient users to their location, particularly using a schematic map.

The one landmark that I have included is Bendigo Hospital. The only other major landmarks that I could find were local shopping centres, golf courses and parks. As a result, I opted to include suburb and locality names instead.

It would still be possible to add landmarks in a later version if that is the feedback that I receive. For now, I think the suburb and locality names are a good solution.

An early version of this map did not include street names. I have included them in this version to assist with wayfinding. This is a result of fairly consistent feedback from previous projects.

Future Development

As mentioned above, there are a few features that could be changed depending on the comments received. I have not been to Bendigo for a long time and am not personally very familiar with the network as a user. As such, please contact me if I have missed something or made a mistake.

I am also planning to turn this map into a sort of brochure suitable for printing (if I get the time). This would include more information for users of the network, such as ticketing, V/Line and other local information. Please let me know if this would be useful to you (I might even send a free copy!)

If you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, please let me know.