From 5 December 2021, a new bus network will be rolled out across the Eastern Suburbs. This new network was based on the draft network released earlier this year, which has been updated to take into account the feedback received during the 8 week community consultation period. There will also be changes to the Inner West bus network to help support changes in the Eastern Suburbs.
These changes are designed to bring more high frequency bus services across the region, better connections to trains and light rail and easier cross regional travel. There has also been changes to reduce duplication between services, where possible.
Key benefits of these bus changes include:
improved all day service frequencies, enhanced peak express services, more reliable timetables and increased capacity to help support demand
improved access to key destinations such as Bondi Junction, Randwick, Maroubra, Mascot and Green Square with enhanced links helping cross-suburban journeys without needing to go via the Sydney CBD
improving connections with other modes such as light rail and train as part of an integrated public transport network
11 all-day frequent network routes operating every 10 minutes or better during the day and every 20 minutes or better early morning and evening, seven days a week
increased coverage of overnight services in the area operating seven days a week
To see the new network map and timetables, visit My Sydney.
Public Transport timetables on a Sunday are characterised by reduced levels of service compared to weekdays or in many cases no service at all. This means that Sunday timetables often don’t provide a useful service that meets customer expectations. These timetables meet neither of the frequency or coverage goals that often form the basis of network planning. In essence, Sunday timetables reduce mobility. This is of particular concern as those who lose mobility under Sunday timetables are typically those who can least afford it – those in disadvantaged areas far from the CBD and other services. This issue is more pronounced in areas only serviced by buses, as bus timetables are more likely to see reductions on Sundays than other modes.
This issue has been brought to the forefront in Sydney as a result of the short lived move to introduce Sunday timetables on a daily basis. This was done last minute due to a rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 outbreak and the associated restrictions. The intention of this move was to reduce mobility across Sydney, perhaps the most tacit admission from Transport for NSW that their Sunday timetables do indeed reduce mobility when compared to regular weekday service levels. These changes left some operators scrambling to fill gaps in their Sunday timetables, whilst people in other areas were left without service at all. Within a week Transport for NSW had backtracked and restored weekday timetables for some bus routes, with the majority of services returning to weekday timetables within two weeks.
Public transport is a public service that needs to be run for the public good, not the private profit. The privatisation of public transport is an ideological obsession of the right, which consistently makes baseless claims in order to further this ideological agenda. Privatisation consistently fails to live up to the hype of its proponents and typically does not provide any benefits for the travelling public or the taxpayer. It is purported that the privatisation of services will deliver benefits such as a more reliable and innovative service delivery as well as better value for money for taxpayers. None of these things are true. Instead, a decrease in services, higher costs, and poorer outcomes for workers and commuters alike are the only things that are realistically achieved by the privatisation of public transport.
This is currently a major issue in New South Wales. The New South Wales State Government has plans to privatise the state owned State Transit Authority, and contract out its services to private bus operators. This comes despite the fact that previous sales of State Transit operated services under the current government failing to deliver on their promises. Across bus and ferry services in Sydney and Newcastle, private operators replacing State Transit have not been able to provide a better service, and in many cases, have actually delivered worse outcomes than those achieved by State Transit.
Transport for NSW has confirmed that there will be a reduction in services as Sydney reaches record COVID-19 case numbers. These disruptions will affect both train and bus services.
From now until further notice, bus services operated by State Transit in the Eastern and Northern Suburbs and bus services operated by Busways in the North West and Western Suburbs will be operating to a reduced timetable. Services may be cancelled at short notice, but efforts will be made to at least operate to a Sunday base frequency across the network.
Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink Intercity and Regional train timetables across the State will be adjusted from Monday 10 January, with services adjusted to an enhanced weekend timetable. This will be similar to the dynamic timetable operated during August, with addition peak services to aid with social distancing.
The largest changes to the bus network in Sydney’s South Eastern Suburbs since the demise of the original Sydney tramway network were introduced today, 5 December 2021. As part of these changes (which you can view in full here), 24 routes have been discontinued. All 24 of those routes and an outline of their histories are featured in this article.
Route 300 – Kings Cross to Railway Square via Museum Station
Route 300 operated between Kings Cross and Railway Square via Museum Station in that direction only. It was an overnight service that only operated on Friday and Saturday nights. Route 300 was introduced on 31 December 2013. It has been replaced by short-working of Route 324.
Route 301 – Eastgardens to Redfern via Mascot
Route 301 operated between Redfern and Eastgardens via Zetland and Mascot. It was initially introduced as a weekday service between Rosebery and Eastgardens on 20 October 1987 after the opening of Westfield Eastgardens. On 5 August 1990, it was altered to operate from Circular Quay to Eastgardens via Rosebery. It was later curtailed to operate to Redfern instead of Circular Quay from 2 December 2018. It has been replaced by new Routes 306 and 350.
Route 302 – Eastgardens to Redfern via Kingsford
Route 302 operated between Redfern and Eastgardens via Zetland and Mascot. It was initially introduced as a supplementary route to Route 303, operating between Central Station and Dolls Point in March 1942. At various times in the 1950s and 1960s the service was extended to differing termini in Sandringham, Sans Souci and Caringbah, with some short workings diverting to Sydney Airport. As part of the Better Buses East changes of 23 June 2002, the service was modified to operate Circular Quay to Eastgardens, and later on 2 December 2018 to Redfern to Eastgardens. It has been replaced by Route 392.
Route 309X – Port Botany to Railway Square EXPRESS
Route 309X operated an express service between Railway Square and Port Botany. It commenced as Route X09 on 5 August 1990 as a peak hour express service between Circular Quay and Matraville. From 23 June 2002, it was curtailed to operate Martin Place to Banksmeadow and from 4 October 2002 it was curtailed to operate Railway Square to Banksmeadow. From 2 December 2018 Route X09 was renumbered as Route 309X and modified to operate Railway Square to Port Botany. It has been replaced by Route 309.
Route 310X – Banksmeadow to Railway Square EXPRESS
Route 310X operated an express service between Railway Square and Banksmeadow. It commenced as Route X10 on 23 June 2002 between Martin Place and Eastgardens. It was curtailed to operate Railway Square to Eastgardens on 4 October 2015. From 2 December 2018 Route X10 was renumbered as Route 310X and modified to operate Railway Square to Banksmeadow. It has been replaced by Route 310.
Route 314 – Coogee to Bondi Junction via Randwick Junction
Route 314 operated between Coogee and Bondi Junction via Randwick and Charing Cross. Route 314 commenced on 14 November 1954 as the replacement for the Coogee Beach to Waverley Depot tram service. It has been replaced by Routes 313, 356 and 390X
Route 316 – Eastgardens to Bondi Junction via Maroubra Junction
Route 316 operated between Eastgardens and Bondi Junction via Maroubra Junction and Randwick Junction. It commenced on 20 October 1987 after the opening of Westfield Eastgardens. Since 2019 selected services have extended to Pagewood. It has been replaced by Routes 356, 390X and 397.
Route 317 – Eastgardens to Bondi Junction via Maroubra Beach
Route 316 operated between Eastgardens and Bondi Junction via Maroubra Beach and Randwick Junction. It commenced on 23 June 2002 as part of the Better Buses East changes. Since 2019 selected services have extended to Pagewood. It has been replaced by Routes 375 and 390X
Route 338 – Clovelly to Railway Square via Moore Park
Route 338 operated between Clovelly and Railway Square via North Randwick and Moore Park. It commenced on 4 October 2015 as a peak hour short working of Route 339. It is being replaced by Route 339.
Route 353 – Eastgardens to Bondi Junction via Coogee
Route 353 operated between Eastgardens and Bondi Junction via Maroubra Beach and Coogee. It commenced on 9 January 2000 between North Bondi and Sydney Airport via Bondi Junction and Eastgardens. It was curtailed to operate between Eastgardens and Bondi Junction as part of the Better Buses East changes on 23 June 2002. It is being replaced by Route 350.
Route 357 – Mascot Station to Bondi Junction via Randwick Junction
Route 357 operated between Mascot Station and Bondi Junction via Kingsford and Randwick Junction. It commenced in 1952 as Route 367 between Sydenham and Bellevue Hill and was later renumbered 357 and curtailed to operate Sydenham to Bondi Junction in November 1986. It was amalgamated with Route 418 on 20 October 2013 to operate Burwood to Bondi Junction, before being spilt to operate as Route 357 between Mascot Station and Bondi Junction on 30 September 2018. It will be replaced by Routes 356 and 358.
Route 372 – Coogee to Railway Square via Cleveland Street
Route 372 operated between Coogee and Railway Square via Randwick Junction and Cleveland Street. It commenced on 24 October 2960 as a replacement for the Coogee Beach to Railway Square tram service. It has been replaced by Routes 373 and 374.
Route 376 – Maroubra Beach to Railway Square via Randwick Junction
Route 376 operated between Maroubra Beach and Railway Square via Randwick Junction and Moore Park. It commenced in November 1995 as Maroubra Beach to Circular Quay via Central. It was curtailed to operate Maroubra Beach to Railway Square from 4 October 2015. It has been replaced by Routes 339 and 375. 3
Route 377 – Maroubra Beach to Railway Square via Randwick Junction
Route 376 operated between Maroubra Beach and Circular Quay via Randwick Junction and Taylor Square. It commenced on 18 October 1987 between Eastgardens and Circular Quay via Maroubra Beach following the opening of Westfield Eastgardens. On 23 June 2002, it was curtailed to operate between Maroubra Beach and Circular Quay only. It is being replaced by Routes 373, 375 and 396.
Route 391 – La Perouse to Railway Square via Eastgardens
Route 391 operated between La Perouse and Railway Square via Eastgardens and Bunnerong Road. It commenced on 19 November 1995 as La Perouse to Circular Quay via Central. From 4 October 2015 it was curtailed to operate from La Perouse to Railway Square. It will be replaced by Routes 339, 392 and 396.
Route 393 – Little Bay to Railway Square via Cleveland Street
Route 393 operated between Little Bay and Railway Square via Anzac Parade and Cleveland Street. It commenced on 25 February 1961 replacing the La Perouse to Railway Square tram. It will be replaced by Routes 374, 390X and 396.
Route 394 – La Perouse to Circular Quay via Taylor Square
Route 394 operated between La Perouse and Circular Quay via Anzac Parade and Taylor Square. It commenced on 25 February 1961 replacing the La Perouse to Hunter Street tram. It is being replaced by Routes 390X and 396.
Route 395 – Maroubra Beach to Railway Square via Cleveland Street
Route 393 operated between Maroubra Beach and Railway Square via Anzac Parade and Cleveland Street. It commenced on 25 February 1961 replacing the Maroubra Beach to Railway Square tram. It will be replaced by Routes 374 and 396.
Route 400 – Bondi Junction to Sydney Airport LIMITED STOPS
Route 400 operated limited stops between Bondi Junction and Sydney Airport. It commenced on 17 July 1989 between Bondi Junction and Burwood with ‘Metroline’ branding. During the 1990s, selected weekend services extended to Bondi Beach. On 30 September 2018 Route 400 was split in two, with services between Eastgardens and Burwood operated by new Route 420 with the 400 curtailed to operate Bondi Junction to Eastgardens. It is being replaced by Routes 350 and 390X.
Route 400N – Bondi Junction to Eastgardens via Randwick Junction
Route 400N was a night time service between Bondi Junction and Eastgardens via Randwick. It commenced on 30 September 2018 as the night time short working of Route 400. It has been replaced by Routes 350 and 390X.
Route 420N – Burwood to Eastgardens via Rockdale
Route 420N was a night time service between Eastgardens and Burwood via Rockdale. It commenced on 30 September 2018 as the night time short working of Route 420. It has been replaced by Route 420.
Route L94 – La Perouse to Circular Quay LIMITED STOPS
Route L94 operated between La Perouse and Circular Quay via Anzac Parade and Taylor Square. It commenced on 5 August 1990 as the limited stops variant of Route 394. It is being replaced by Routes 390X and 396.
Route X40 – Clovelly to Museum Station EXPRESS
Route X40 was an express service between Clovelly and Liverpool Street. It commenced on 28 October 2012 to provide an express service from Clovelly via the Eastern Distributor. It is being replaced by Route 339X.
Route X93 – Little Bay to Railway Square EXPRESS
Route X93 was an express service between Little Bay and Railway Square. It commenced on 5 June 2016 to help direct traffic away from Anzac Parade due to light rail construction. It is being replaced by Route 394X.
Route X99 – Little Bay to Museum Station EXPRESS
Route X93 was an express service between Little Bay and Liverpool Street. It commenced on 23 June 2002 as part of the Better Buses East service changes. It is being replaced by Routes 394X and 399.
Although there are many other routes which have significant changes, and express routes are being renumbered from the X00 series to the 300X series, we have chosen just to focus on the routes we won’t see again in any form for the scope of this article.
Credit to Greg Travers’ book “City to Suburb” and Robert Henderson’s site “Sydney Bus Routes” for providing information for the article.
A joint venture partnership between Transdev and John Holland has been awarded the contract to operate Sydney’s Region 9 bus services. The contract will be handed over from State Transit to Transdev John Holland Buses from 12:01am on Sunday 3 April 2022.
Region 9 was the final region contract to be held by State owned operator State Transit. Covering Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and South East, over 500 buses carry 67 million passengers each year. The contract includes Route 333 between North Bondi and Circular Quay, Sydney’s busiest bus route. 136 new zero emission buses will be introduced over the course of the 8 year contract.
Transdev John Holland Buses (NSW) is an integrated joint venture partnership between Transdev Australasia and John Holland.
Transdev Australasia Chief Executive Officer, Luke Agati, said sustainability and keeping people and customers at the heart were critical to securing the contract.
“We are delighted to partner with John Holland to operate Region 9. We will bring our collective know-how to help Transport for NSW continue to set the pace in the transition to zero emissions fleets in Australia and deliver broad benefits to the community,” Mr Agati said.
John Holland Executive General Manager Rail and Transport Operations, Steve Butcher, said the team was excited to build on the region’s strong customer service record.
“We are proud to be joining Transdev and will bring our experience operating customer-focused networks like Sydney Metro, Canberra Metro and Metro Trains Melbourne to make sure customers are the biggest winners out of the transition,” Mr Butcher said.
Today’s announcement comes more than a week after the awarding of the contract was originally due to occur. The reason for the delay in the contract announcement remains unknown.
There has been a delay in the announcement of successful bidder for the Region 9 bus contract. Covering Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Inner City, the Region 9 contract is the final contract to still be held by State Government owned bus operator State Transit.
The announcement of the successful bidder for the Region 9 contract was supposed to occur last Friday, November 19. This in turn was a delay from the original timeline for the handover of the Region 9 contract, which had the contract handover planned for July 1 2021. This initial delay occurred due to industry requests for extra time to put together higher quality bids for all three contracts State Transit held at the time after a market sounding period.
It was understood by Transport for NSW Blog that a successful bidder for the Region 9 contract had already been chosen by Transport for NSW. All other interested parties except for that successful bidder had not progressed to the final stage of contract negotiations. There is some speculation that contractual issues relating to the chosen operator may be to blame for the delay, however Transport NSW Blog has not been able to confirm a concrete reason for the delay.
At this stage there is no new timeline for when the successful bidder for the Region 9 contract will be announced. Despite this, it appears that Transport for NSW believes that the Region 9 contract will still likely be handed over to a new operator from early April 2022.
Since Thursday 28 October, services on the L1 Inner West Light Rail line have been suspended due to cracking found in all 12 of the trams that service the line. This service suspension is indefinite and there is no timeline towards the resumption of services.
It is understood that significant cracks were discovered in the bogey boxes (otherwise known as the wheel arches) of all 12 trams in the Inner West fleet, in addition to more minor cracking throughout other parts of the trams. It has been rumored that the cracks may have arisen due to the choice of fixed bogey trams for the Inner West line, as overseas examples have shown bogey box cracking on fixed boey trams that operate on tram lines with significant curves such as the L1 line in Sydney.
The Office of Transport Safety is conducting an investigation into the cracks. Transport Minister Rob Stokes said it was “obviously a concern” when route maintenance had uncovered a problem with the entire inner west tram fleet. “We will hold Transdev to their contractual obligations,” he said of the private operator of the line.
Transport for NSW secretary Rob Sharp said that trams will not be rushed back into service. “It’s not going to be a couple of days or a week or two – it’s going to be extended. We’d be certainly looking at a month or more,” Mr Sharp said. “Safety is first, and we do need the technical experts to complete their reviews over the next week to actually land on a specific conclusion.”
State Transit is operating a replacement bus service. There are two routes that operate between 6am and 11pm daily. The buses are opal enabled but only charge half fares.
Route 498 – Central Railway Colonnade to The Star (operates every 15 minutes )
Route 499 – Central Railway Colonnade to Dulwich Hill (operates every 10-12 minutes)
State Transit handed over operation of the Region 8 contract, covering Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore, to Keolis Downer at 12:01am this morning, 31 October 2021. This is the first of three handovers to occur over the next 6 months, as the NSW Government follows through on plans to privatise the entire State Transit network.
State Transit had a 88 year history of operations on the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore. The first government operated service in was on Route 144 between Manly and Cremorne on December 25 1932. As part of this handover, Route 144 will revert to private operation after 88 years. At the time of handover, there were 450 buses based in Region 8 across 3 depots.
The final service operated by State Transit in Region 8 was the 23:55 172X from Wynyard to Warringah Mall via North Balgowlah. 1966 had the honours of operating this last trip. See below for some photos of this final service
There will be changes to bus services in Northern, North-Western and Western Sydney from the 18th and 24th of October. These changes have been designed to streamline services and update timetables to reflect changed traffic conditions.
Hillsbus and Forest Coachlines Changes (all except Route 779) will occur on Monday 18 October 2021
Busways Changes (Route 779) will occur on Sunday 24 October
OCTOBER 2021 BUS CHANGES
Route withdrawn All existing trips to operate as route 607X between the City and Bella Vista. Customers travelling from the City to beyond Bella Vista can still catch Nightride route N92.
Additional services Route 607X will replace all existing route 607N between City and Bella Vista. Service frequency on weekends increased to 15 minutes. Minor timetable adjustments across the week to better reflect traffic conditions. Over 70 additional weekly services.
Route and timetable changes Route 610X weekday peak hour services between Kellyville and Castle Hill will no longer run; all services will operate between Castle Hill and the City only. Alternative travel options for customers between Kellyville and Castle Hill available on routes 601, 626, 632, 633 and 715, providing connections to Sydney Metro or other bus services at either Hills Showground or Castle Hill stations. Minor changes to weekday peak hour service frequency. Weekday early morning and off-peak frequency increased to 10 minutes. Additional early morning and evening trips on weekends. Minor timetable adjustments across the week to better reflect traffic conditions. Over 30 additional weekly services.
Additional services Service frequency on Sundays increased to 15 minutes. Around 40 additional weekly services.
Timetable change Changes to service hours during morning and afternoon peak on weekdays, with reduction in shoulder peak trips. Service frequency will be maintained during the busiest part of the morning and afternoon peak.
New route Operates between Rouse Hill and Gables via Box Hill. Operates every 30 mins on weekdays and on weekends. Provides new access to bus services for newly developed areas of Box Hill in the Mount Carmel Drive and Brahman Road area. Over 440 additional weekly services,
Route extension and additional services Existing route 779 (St Marys – Erskine Park) will be extended to the Oakdale West precinct at Kemps Creek and upgraded to support customer access to existing and new employment areas in Erskine Park and Kemps Creek. Operating hours will increase, with new off peak and weekend services. Over 170 additional weekly services.
New school routes New school services to serve new Santa Sophia Catholic. College:4x AM routes – routes 2107, 2108, 2109, 2110 4x PM routes – routes 2687, 2688, 2689, 2690. 40 additional weekly services commencing in Term 4.
Transport for NSW has confirmed that public transport across New South Wales will return to weekday timetables from Monday 11 October 2021. This comes as the extended lockdown restrictions that have been in place in NSW since June will be eased from the same date, after NSW reached 70% double vaccination rate earlier this week.
This move will see over 18 000 extra trips added to the network and the return of peak hour express services to the Network. There will also be additional capacity on each service, with capacity moving from 25% to 50% seated capacity. Extra green dots will be added to help guide social distancing aboard services.
Public Transport in NSW has been operating to a Saturday timetable since 23 August due to COVID-19 related staff shortages. There is some concern that staff shortages will lead to cancellations and gaps in service with the return to weekday timetables. State Transit’s Waverley depot in Sydney’s East has been short of drivers this week leading to cancellations and Transit’s Systems Leichhardt Depot has seen continual service cancellations since the emergence of a first COVID case there in early August.
State Transit has placed an order for 10 Custom Element electric buses for delivery between November 2021 and March 2022, the first electric buses ordered by State Transit. The vehicles will be based at State Transit’s Waverley depot as part of their Region 9 contract.
The order follows a successful trial of a Custom Element electric bus on routes out of Waverley Depot back in March. The bus trialled was the first electric bus to be built here in NSW, and this order will also be built in NSW at the Custom Denning factory in Western Sydney. Drivers involved in the trial gave the vehicle good reviews, noting a smooth ride quality and excellent braking.
Waverley depot has been chosen for the new electric buses due to the recent decommissioning of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) compression station. This has allowed State Transit to repurpose the available CNG substation power for use as part of the required recharging infrastructure for the electric buses.
The Custom Element electric bus has a capacity of 80, with 43 seated. It is a fully low floor bus with 2 wheelchair accessible spaces. On a full charge, which takes up to 5 hours, the Custom Element can operate for up to 16 hours or around 400 kilometres in service. The batteries last for up to 1 million service kilometers.