Bus Service Changes from 17 November

From Sunday 17 November 2019, changes to bus services will be introduced in Sydney’s North West and Northern Beaches.

These changes will provide more reliable journeys and easier connections to Metro stations at including Rouse Hill, Kellyville, Castle Hill and Cherrybrook. There are now better connections right across the Hills District, addressing many concerns about the network introduced earlier this year. This  includes a complete redesign of services around Cherrybrook as well as high frequencies network wide.

There will also be improved improved travel options across the Northern Beaches, with more frequent B-Line services and new connections to the Northern Beaches Hospital.

Buses across the North West, North Shore and Northern Beaches are changing from 17 November 2019 – Transport NSW Blog Collection

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Electric Buses to Take Over Sydney

Bus trips across Sydney are soon to get a lot quieter, as the State Government moves ahead with plans that will see over 8000 ageing diesel and CNG powered buses replaced by new fully electric buses. Transport Minister Andrew Constance is enthusiastically pushing electric buses after a recent “study tour/junket” to Europe.

Electric Buses, like this one from Transit Systems, are soon to become more common across Sydney – Transport NSW Blog Collection

“Making the switch to an entirely electric bus fleet will deliver huge benefits to the community in terms of reducing air and noise pollution, as well as our incredible drivers,” Mr Constance said.

“As part of this process, we will challenge the industry to begin an ambitious transformation of our bus fleet from particulate emitting diesel to zero-emission buses.

“The experience of other leading European cities demonstrates that a rapid transition to zero-emission buses is possible and I have asked Transport for NSW to work with operators and bus suppliers to develop a plan to transition our fleet as part of the tender process.

“Zero-emission buses are becoming the standard with the significant environmental, health and operational cost benefits being experienced now in cities like London, Paris and Amsterdam.  As a truly global city Sydney deserves the same.”

Currently five electric buses are operating from Transit Systems Leichhardt Depot, with a further ten expected to be delivered to State Transit’s Randwick Depot next year. However deliveries will need to speed up if they want to replace all 8000 Sydney buses anytime soon.

Sydney Bus Regions to be Put Out to Contract

The State Government has announced that 13 of the 14 bus contract regions will be put out to tender next year for a takeover date of 1 July 2021. All regions except for Region 6, which is the Inner West region privatised last year, will be out out to a competitive tender.

Controversially, this will include the three State Transit operated regions. The privatisation of these regions will mean an end to government operated bus services in Sydney after nearly 89 years.

State Transit services across the Eastern Suburbs, Northern Beaches, North Shore and North West are being privatised – Transport NSW Blog Collection

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Sydney Metro West Station Locations

The exact station locations for Sydney Metro West have been revealed by the State Government. The locations of seven proposed Metro stations have been confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock and the Bays Precinct.

Further, the feasibility of building a Metro station in Pyrmont its being investigated, while also assessing a potential station at Rydalmere. Further work is also underway to determine the location of the new Metro station in the Sydney CBD.


Westmead: The eastern side of Hawkesbury Road, south of the existing Westmead station. The new station will have one entrance on Hawkesbury Road.

Parramatta: On the block bound by George, Macquarie, Church and Smith streets with an entrance on Horwood Place.

Sydney Olympic Park: To the south of the existing train station. It will sit to the east of Olympic Boulevard with the main station entrances between Herb Elliot Avenue and Figtree Drive, and off Dawn Fraser Avenue.

North Strathfield: Adjacent to the existing train station. New metro platforms will sit alongside the existing station and entry to the station would be from a new entrance on Queen Street.

Burwood North: At the corner of Burwood and Parramatta roads, with entrances on both the north and south sides of Parramatta Road.

Five Dock: Located off Great North Road, between East Street and then at the corner of Second Avenue and Waterview Street. The station entrance will be at Fred Kelly Place off Great North Road.

Bays Precinct: Located between Glebe Island and White Bay Power Station with an entrance to the south of White Bay.

These stations are typically well located, however there could be better connectivity at Parramatta and Westmead. The areas surrounding Burwood North and Bays Precinct are rip for redevelopment and gentrification allowing for the metro line to kick start these areas. Five Dock and North Strathfield will both allow for connections into the existing transport network.

With the announcements of the new station locations, there has been some controversy. Around 120 properties will need to be acquired to build the new line, including the Sydney Speedway in Granville. There has already been protests surrounding some of these acquisitions. The line has been further delayed to a 2030 completion and is already looking to break its $20 billion budget. Further, their is criticism of the fact that the line has so few stations, with large 13km and 7km gaps between some stations. It has been suggested by the media and transport analysts that there should be more stations along the line.

Here at Transport NSW Blog, we tend to agree with the criticism that there aren’t enough stations along the line. Metro lines should theoretically have close station spacing and even if station spacing is further apart than a traditional metro, the 13km gap between Parramatta and Olympic Park or the 7km gap between Five Dock and Bays Precinct. Stations at Camellia, Leichhardt North and Pyrmont should be built in order to provide full connectivity and the best outcome for all commuters. This would inevitably lead to a small increase in travel times, but with high service frequencies this would be inconsequential.

It is also concerning that only one CBD station is currently proposed. To get the best possible outcome, there really needs to be more than one CBD station. It is the opinion of Transport NSW Blog that a station under Hunter Street (named and connected to Martin Place), as well as a station under College Street at Hyde Park South, with an entrance at the corner of College, Liverpool and Oxford (named Memorial, after the Hyde Park War Memorial) would be the best outcome. The line should then follow the ridgeline southeast.

Cumberland Line sees extra service from 6 January 2020

From Monday January 6 2020, there will be an extra northbound service on the T5 Cumberland line each weekday during the morning peak.


The new direct all-stops morning peak service departs Leppington at 7.07am, arriving at key stations such as Parramatta at 7.49am, Blacktown at 8.07am and Schofields at 8.17am.

The existing 7.21am all stops Leppington to Schofields service will instead depart at 7.37am, arriving at key stations such as Parramatta at 8.19am, Blacktown at 8.37am and Schofields at 8.47am.

These changes will create a consistent half hourly frequency throughout the morning peak, reducing the wait time between services by up to 16 minutes.

Over the past year, patronage on the T5 Cumberland line has surged, creating over crowding, particularly on the highly popular 7:21am service. 30 per cent more passengers arrived at Parramatta on T5 trains this year compared to last. 

Transport Minister Andrew Constance noted “By boosting capacity on an increasingly busy part of the network, customers across the south-west region including Glenfield, Liverpool and Cabramatta will enjoy a more comfortable and convenient morning commute. Customers from the T8 South Line between Macarthur and Macquarie Fields will also benefit from the new service as it provides an extra connection at Glenfield to T5 services headed towards Parramatta and further west.”


Carlingford Line to Close 5 January 2020

The T6 Carlingford Line between Clyde and Carlingford is being permanently closed from 5 January 2020. This closure is to allow for the construction of Parramatta light rail between Carlingford and Westmead, which will partially use the corridor.

The Parramatta Light Rail will partially use the old Carlingford rail corridor – Transport for NSW

A new bus route will service the corridor between Carlingford and Parramatta during light rail construction. Route 535 will operate from January 5, 2020 with stops at Carlingford, Telopea, Dundas, Rydalmere, Camellia/Rosehill and Parramatta CBD.

Trams are due to start running along the first part of the route in 2023. When the light rail opens it will provide the same area with a service every seven and a half minutes between 7am and 7pm on weekdays.


Featured Bus Route – October 2019

The featured bus route for October 2019 is Route 601. It runs between Parramatta and Rouse Hill via Northmead, Baulkham Hills, Hills Showground and North Kellyville and is operated by CDC Hillsbus.


Route 601 came into existence on 30 May 1983, when there was a reorganisation and renumbering of Route 200 and its various branches. At this time it was operated by Parramatta Bus Co. (Bosnjak family). Parramatta Bus Co. rebranded as Westbus from 1984. On 3 February 1988 the route was extended to Windsor Shops and later on 11 November 1988 the terminus in Windsor was moved from the shops to the station.

From 20 March 2000, route 601 was truncated to run Parramatta – Rouse Hill (Mile End Rd). Rouse Hill (Mile End Rd) – Windsor station replaced by the new route 608. In December of 2004, Westbus was rebranded Hillsbus. From 11 March 2007, route 601 was truncated to operate Parramatta – Kellyville (loop via Acres Rd to Glenrowan Av) in connection with opening of the North West T-way. Service between Parramatta & Rouse Hill replaced by T64 & T65. From 11 May 2009, route 601 was re-extended from Kellyville (Acres Rd) to Rouse Hill Town Centre, as a result of Ministry of Transport review of Region 4.

Today CDC Hillsbus operates Route 601 out of its depots in Northmead and Seven Hills. it operates every 15 minutes all day on weekdays from 5am to midnight and every 30 minutes on weekends between 7am and 11pm.