Budget 2017/18 – Buses

Yesterday the government announced its plan for buses in the 2017/18 budget. There will be more Buses ordered and timetable upgrades to make routes. The biggest news was the continued addition of more double decker buses and confirmation that no more articulated “bendy” buses will be ordered.

Summary of the Changes

  • 100 million for 176 new buses including 134 buses to replace older buses and 42 growth buses,
  • New double decker buses for existing services
  • Higher utilisation rates of existing buses
  • 3300 more bus services per week on dozens of routes (listed below)

Sydney Metropolitan

More than 1,600 additional services on the following routes:

  • Routes 195, 196, 197 Mona Vale to Gordon and Macquarie Park via St Ives;
  • Route 251 Lane Cove West to City via Lane Cove;
  • Route 270 Frenchs Forest District to City;
  • Route 280 Chatswood to Warringah Mall via Frenchs Forest;
  • Route 292 Marsfield and Macquarie Park to City via Lane Cove;
  • Routes 324, 325 Watsons Bay to Edgecliff via Rose Bay;
  • Route 352 Marrickville Metro to Bondi Junction via Newtown and Surry Hills;
  • Route 353 Eastgardens to Bondi Junction via Coogee;
  • Route 370 Leichhardt to Coogee via Newtown and Green Square;
  • Routes 374, X74 Coogee to City;
  • Routes 392, X92 Little Bay to City via Eastgardens and Kingsford;
  • Route 418 Burwood to Bondi Junction via Sydenham and Mascot;
  • Route 461 Burwood to City via Parramatta Road;
  • Route 504 Chiswick to City via Drummoyne;
  • Route 506 Macquarie Park and East Ryde to City via Drummoyne;
  • Routes 533, 534 Sydney Olympic Park and Ryde to Chatswood via Wentworth Point and Mowbray Road;
  • Route 914 Greenacre to Strathfield;
  • Route M20 Zetland to Wynyard via Central Station;
  • Route M52 Parramatta to City via Victoria Road Route 423 Kingsgrove to City via Earlwood and Newtown;

New, extended or enhanced all-night services on the following routes:

  • Route 400 Burwood to Bondi Junction via Sydney Airport;
  • Route N20 Riverwood to City via Rockdale, Sydney Airport and Green Square;
  • Route N81 Parramatta to City via Sydney Olympic Park and Wentworth Point (Thursday-Saturday only);
  • Route N91 Bondi Junction to Macquarie Park via Kings Cross, City and Chatswood

Western Sydney (including Hills District and South West):
More than 1,500 additional services, including 11 new or extended routes:

  • Route 632 Pennant Hills to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Castle Hill and Norwest;
  • Route 746 Riverstone to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Box Hill;
  • Route 747 Marsden Park to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Riverstone;
  • Route 751 Blacktown to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Colebee and Marsden Park;
  • Route 774 Mt Druitt to Penrith via St Marys and Caddens;
  • Route 840 Campbelltown to Leppington via Gregory Hills and Oran Park;
  • Route 853, 854 Liverpool to Edmondson Park via Carnes Hill;
  • Route 859 Oran Park to Minto via Catherine Field;
  • Route 868 Edmondson Park to Ingleburn via Ingleburn Industrial Area;
  • Route 896 Oran Park to Campbelltown via Harrington Park and Narellan

Enhanced services on the following routes:

  • Route 614X Crestwood to City via M2;
  • Route 711 Parramatta to Children’s Hospital at Westmead;
  • Route 817 Cabramatta to Fairfield via Bonnyrigg and Prairiewood;
  • Route 887 Campbelltown to Wollongong via Appin;
  • Route M60 Hornsby to Parramatta via Castle Hill;
  • Route M61 Castle Hill to City via M2;
  • Route T80 Liverpool to Parramatta via Bonnyrigg and Prairiewood

New all-night services on the following route:

  • Route M54 Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford
A new double decker bus like the ones being ordered

Train Talk Tuesday 10

Welcome to another Train Talk Tuesday, today we will be looking at the Richmond Branchline. It is a branch of the Main Western Railway Line. It runs from the main line at Blacktown, 25 kilometres to Richmond.

Initally opening in 1864, the line was extended to Kurrajong in 1926, with the extention closing in 1952. From the 1980s onwards, the line has been progressively electrified, with electrification reaching Richmond in 1991. The line was duplicated as far as Quakers Hill in 2002, with the line futher duplicated to Schofields in 2011. A planned extention of the duplication to Vineyard has been deferred.

Today the Richmond Line is served by two Sydney Trains lines. These services are proved by either A set, K set pr T set trains.

  • T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line (Whole length of the line)
  • T5 Cumberland Line (Blacktown-Schofields only)

Transport Heritage Expo

This long weekend, the Transport Heritage Expo returned to Central Station. It celebrates the transport heritage of NSW. It is run by Transport Hertiage NSW with the support of NSW Rail Museuem, Sydney Bus Museum and Sydney Trains. There are many free activites people could participate in with some activities requiring a extra cost. There are many vintage Trains and buses taking part in the event including a “Red Rattler”, a 1930s Steam Train, and various double decker AEC, Albion and Leyland buses. The event on Saturday and finishes tomorrow afternoon.

Activites included;

  • Vintage Bus Rides (Free)
  • Vintage Trains Displays (Free)
  • Modern Waratah Comparison (Free)
  • Mortars Station Tours (Free)
  • Art and Photgraphy Forum (Cost)
  • Vintage Train Rides (Cost)
  • Devonshire Tea on Train (Cost)


Sydney Buses Route of the Week 10

This week our route of the week is Route 374 operated by State Transit. It runs between Coogee Beach and City Circular Quay via Bream Street, Randwick Junction, Moore Park and Central Railway. Thanks to Eloise Kavanagh who requested this route.

A Route 374 service picking up passengers at Circular Quay terminus ahead of its journey to Coogee – Transport NSW Blog

Unlike most bus routes between the CBD and the Eastern suburbs, Route 374 actually predates the closure of the Sydney Tramways and is not based on any of the old Eastern Suburbs tramway routes.

Route 374 has a long history, beginning prior to the first government gazette on bus services in 1925. From an unknown date, at latest prior to 1925, Route 61 was operated between Coogee and Central Railway via Darlinghurst by the Coogee Omnibus Co. The route was altered to become a feeder service between Coogee and Randwick Junction due to its competition with the tramways from 31 October 1931. From 8 December 1931, Route 61 was replaced by the new route 74. This new route operated between Coogee and Daceyville by Mrs EL Tollhurst. It was later extended to Maroubra Junction from 21 May 1937.

On 4 January 1938, Route 74 was taken over by the Department of Road Transport and Tramways (DRTT). The DRTT reorganise the route so that Route 74 serviced the corridor between Coogee and City York Street, whilst the Randwick to Maroubra Junction section of the route was amalgamated with the existing route 159 Rose Bay to Randwick Service to become the Route 159 Rose Bay to Maroubra Junction service. Route 74 was allowed to operate alongside the tramways as it was not technically competing with it, as the route was being run by the tramway department. At this time Coogee terminus changed from Coogee Beach to Coogee Mount Street, located at the current site of Barden Park.

The route was renumbered the current 374 from 12 May 1940. Between May and September of 1942, the route was extended to Birchgrove on Sundays. However from 27 September 1942, all Sunday service on the route was cut. At an unknown date in the late 1940s, Sunday service was reintroduced, but from 22 June 1952 was cut to run was a tramway feeder service between Coogee Mount Street and Randwick Junction. Later on 9 November 1952, all off peak and weekend services were cut to run as tramway feeder services. From 23 October 1960, the Coogee terminus was moved to Coogee Beach and a day later on 24 October 1960 the City terminus was moved to City Spring Street. From this time all services operated the the full length of the route due to the closure of the Coogee Tramway.

From 25 June 1979 the 374 terminus was moved to City Circular Quay where it remains to this day. Better Buses East was introduced in 2002 and saw Route 374 rerouted away from Darlinghurst to operate via Central Railway. The current incarnation of Route 374 has been in operation since 4 October 2015, when minor changes were made to the route in the CBD in response to major network changes necessitated by construction of the CBD and South East Light rail project. It has been rumoured that due to the largely overlapping nature of Route 374 and the light rail project that the 374 may once again see major changes. This could potentially see be relegated to a tramway feeder service in the future, although plans sighted by Transport NSW Blog have also suggested a rerouting to Edgecliff Interchange via Darlinghurst.

The first inbound 374 service from Coogee Beach departs at 6am on weekdays and 6:30am on weekends. The first outbound 374 service from City Circular Quay departs at 7:15am daily. The final inbound 374 service from Coogee Beach departs at 11:30pm Monday through Saturday and at 10:45pm on Sundays. The final outbound 374 service from City Circular Quay departs at 12:10am daily. On average Route 374 takes 39 minutes to operate, with traffic condition variations seeing this fluctuated between 34 and 54 minutes depending on time of day. Route 374 has a peak frequency of every 10 minutes, off peak and weekend frequency of every half hour and a late night frequency of every 45 minutes.

State Transit operates Route 374 out of its Randwick Depot, with assistance from Port Botany and Waverley Depots. It is serviced using regular 12.5m buses, with most services operated by modern, low floor accessible, air-conditioned buses.

Aviation Avenue 1

Welcome to our newest Monthly Segment, Aviation Avenue which will now be posted monthly on the 2nd Saturday of the Month. This feature will discuss aviation in NSW, it being one of the most important forms of transport for many people. This month we will be looking at Sydney “Kingsford Smith” Airport

The first flight took of the original private airfield on the current site took off in 1919. The alnd was bought by the government in 1923 and flights began in 1924. The Airport was progressively upgraded with gravel runways opened in 1933 and in the 50s paved runways large enough for jet plane were bulit. It was named Kingsford Smith Airport after games Aussie aviator Charles Kingsford Smith in 1936.

A new international terminal was opeedn by Queen Elizabeth II on 3 May 1970 with the first 747 arriving on 4 October 1970. Various extensions have since been bulit. A third runway was later bulit on reclaimed land in 1994. In 1995 a curfew was added to the airport. More recently, futher terminal upgrade works and works on other facilities are ongoing.

Today there are 3 terminals. 

  • T1 is used for all International Flights
  • T2 is used for most Domestic Flights
  • T3 is the Qantas terminal used for Qantas and QantasLink Domestic flights.

The airport is served by 48 passenger airlines with flights to various destinations through Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America. In 2016, 41 870 000 passengers passed through the airport making it the 38th busiest in the world and busiest in Australia. The airport serves as a hub for Jetstar Australia, Qantas Airways, Regional Express Airlines, Tigerair Australia  and Virgin Australia. The busiest route of the airports to Melbourne, which is the 4th busiest air route in the world with over 8 million passengers travelling on the route last year.


Ferry Friday 10

This Friday, we will be looking at the the SuperCat ferries. The SuperCats were ordered in 2000, with an inital order for eight ferries which was later reduced to four. 

The SuperCats were constructed by the Australian Defence Insdutires at Garden Island.

The ferries were delivered in 2000 and 2001. First in 2000 was Saint Mary Mackillop folowed by Suisse O’Neill. In 2001 Louise Sauvage and SuperCat 4 were delivered.

Today the ferries operate services on the F7 Eastern Suburbs Line between Circular Quay and Watsons Bay via Rose Bay

Train Talk Tuesday 9

This week for Train Talk Tuesday we will be discussing the latest part of the More Trains, More Services program the NSW government is currently rolling out. 

The Blue Moutains will recive a large boost to services with major capacity upgrades. Starting from the July school holidays, six weekend services will be increased from 4 to 8 carriages. These changes will be further helped with even more extra services start later this year. New express services will reduce travel times by 20-30 minutes and provide better connection times and reliablity.



Sydney Buses Route of the Week 9

This weeks request is from Tom E. Our route of the week is the 301. The route 301 runs from City Circular Quay to Eastgardens via Surry Hills, Zetland, Eastlakes and Mascot. A large number of services operate as short-running only terminate at Mascot or Zetland

The service runs 24 hours daily between Circular Quay and Zetland, between 6am-1am daily to Mascot and 9am-6pm daily to Eastgardens. The service runs every 30 minutes through the day and on-weekends, with an hourly service overnight. During peak times, buses run every 10 minutes to Mascot and every 5 minutes to Zetland.

The 301 operates out of Randwick and Port Botany depots using a large variety of buses with Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Scania or Volvo chassis with Ansair, Bustech, Custom Coaches or Volgren bodywork.

A bus with Mercedes Benz chassis and Custom Coaches Citaro Bodywork.
A Iveco Metro with Volgren Bodywork operating a 301 to Mascot on Elizabeth Street

Tram Tracks 2

This month, we will look at the history of Modern Light Rail in Sydney.

A original VarioTram at Convention 

In the 1990s as part of the urban renewal program at Darling harbour, the decision was made to convert a section of the disused Metropolitan Goods Railway line into light rail. The line opened in August 1997 between Wetworth Park and Central Station. An extention to Lilyfild opened in August 2000 and to Dulwich Hill in March 2014 when the line was renamed the L1 Dulwich Hill Line. The line operated under Metro Transport Sydney branding until June 2013 before being rebranded Sydney Light Rail.

Placard for Opening of Lilyfield light rail station

Throughout the early 2010s a number of proposals were made to run a light rail line through the Sydney CBD between Central and Circular Quay, to Sydney Univeristy and to the Univeristy of NSW. In 2012, it was announced the prefered route for the new line was from Circular Quay to the Univeristy of NSW.

In December 2012, the government annouced the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) project based on the previous prefered route. The line will run between Circular Quay and Moore Park via Central before branching off to Kingsford and Randwick via both the Lower and Upper Univeristy of NSW campuses.

Full proposed Inner Sydney light rail network.

Construction of the line began in 2014 and is ongoing with around 5 kilometres of track laid to date. The two lines are expected to be called the L2 Randwick line and the L3 Kingsford Line. Extention of the lines to Coogee and Maroubra respectively are widely expected.

Ferry Friday 9

Today is another Ferry Friday. Our model of ferry that we will be looking at will be the RiverCats.

The RiverCats were bulit by NQEA between 1992 and 1995, being named after famous Australian female athletes. The first ferry Betty Cuthbert arrived in 1992, followed by Dawn Fraser the same year, Evonne Goolagong, Shane Gould, Marlene Mathews and Marjorie Jackson in 1993 and Nicole Livingstone in 1995.

They were ordered to replace the First Fleet ferries from the Circular Quay to Meadowbank service, whilst also allowing the service to be extended to Parramatta.

The ferries are 36.8 metres long with a max operating speed of 22 knots and a capacity of 230.

The RiverCats today operate on all F3 Parramatta River services and occasionally on F7 Eastern Suburbs services.

Dawn Fraser at Darling Harbour operating a F3 service