Bus Route Numbering Changes

Scroll to the end of the article to see a list of Northern Beaches routes renumbered from May 3 2020. 

There will be a number of upcoming changes to the numbers of some bus routes across Sydney. Focusing in on routes with non-standard route numbers (any route without a regular 3-digit route number), all routes will be renumbered into a regular system. All routes will either have a three digit number (e.g. 000, 374, 999), a three digit number followed by ‘X’ to denote an express or limited stops version of a route (e.g. 000X, 374X, 999X) or a three digit number followed by ‘N’ to denote an overnight route (e.g. 000N, 374N, 999N).

Some bus routes are being renumbered in order to ensure a uniform numbering system across the network. Route 309X is one example of a route in the new system – Transport NSW Blog Collection

A large majority of routes already have a regular route number, so these changes will be mainly focused at ‘express’, ‘limited stops’, ‘metrobus’ or ‘T-Way’ route services. Of course, some of these routes have already received this change. All CDC Hillbus express services have been numbered with a ‘X’ suffix at the end of years, and recently STA introduced this on their Botany Road corridor. Some overnight services on flagship corridors, such as STA’s 333 and 400, have had services between midnight and 5am renumbered 333N and 400N for over a year. The changes now are to ensure that this is uniformly applied across the network.

Transport NSW Blog supports these changes to the network. We believe that it is important to retain a uniform numbering system for all bus routes across Sydney and NSW, and that integrating all routes across Sydney more uniformly into the current system is a big win. Despite this, we want to ensure that these changes are indeed applied across the whole network. Too often we see half hearted changes that get applied to half the network but then never get fully rolled out. All routes need to comply with the new system fully, and realistically all non-compliant routes should move across at the same time in order to avoid any drawn out period of noncompliant routes.

STA Region 8, covering the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches area will be making these changes across all of its express and limited stops routes from Sunday 3 May 2020. It is understood that STA Region 9, covering the Eastern Suburbs and Inner City as well as TSA Region 6, covering the Inner West and Inner South will change over to the new system when the long awaited changes to the South East bus network due to the opening of the light rail occur. It is anyones guess as to when that and the other regions renumbering will occur, however it is expected to be completed later this year across STA and TSA.

Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches express services will be renumbered from 3 May 2020. 154X is one such new route number – Leon Sharpe
Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches express services will be renumbered from 3 May 2020. 150X is one such new route number- Leon Sharpe


  • Route E50 renumbered to 150X
  • Route E54 renumbered to 154X
  • Route E60 renumbered to 160X
  • Route E65 renumbered to 165X
  • Route E66 renumbered to 166X
  • Route E68 renumbered to 168X
  • Route E69 renumbered to 169X
  • Route E70 renumbered to 170X
  • Route E71 renumbered to 171X
  • Route E75 renumbered to 175X
  • Route E76 renumbered to 176X
  • Route E77 renumbered to 177X
  • Route E78 renumbered to 178X
  • Route E79 renumbered to 179X
  • Route E80 renumbered to 180X
  • Route E83 renumbered to 183X
  • Route E85 renumbered to 185X
  • Route E88 renumbered to 188X
  • Route E89 renumbered to 189X
  • Route L90 renumbered to 190X

No routes or timetables will be changing on 3 May 2020, only the route numbers that buses show on the destination board and in timetable apps.

Thanks to Leon Sharpe for providing images of buses displaying new route numbers for use in the article.

Where Can You Fly? | COVID-19 Edition – International

With COVID-19, travel has come to a grinding halt. Australians are not permitted to travel overseas from Australia and there have been significant limits placed on domestic travel as well. As a result, most of the regular passenger flights that fly into Sydney have been cancelled.

Whilst some cancelled flights may not matter to those of us at home, for Australians stuck overseas, it has become a nightmare to get home. There are now just 10 commercial international flights that are still flying into Sydney. Most of these flights operate on a less than daily basis, but they generally operate at least twice a week.

Map of remaining international flights to Sydney as of 15 April 2020 – GC Mapper

Qatar Airways is maintaining their daily QR908/909 service from their Doha hub. Passengers from nearly 70 destinations can still connect at Doha onto QR908 to Sydney, although you can’t leave the terminal due to a ban on foreign arrivals. This is the best option for passengers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa due to the ease of connections and availability of flights with Qatar.

Malaysia Airlines is operating a twice weekly MH122/123 service from their Kuala Lumpur hub. You can still transit via KL, however Malaysia Airlines has cancelled most of their flights and as such limited options are available. You can connect to KLM flights to Amsterdam at KL on a combined Malaysia Airlines-KLM ticket.

Singapore Airlines is operating at least twice weekly on their SQ211/232 service from their Singapore hub. Australians cannot transit in Singapore as all transit passengers have been banned from Singapore. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Singapore or Singaporeans returning to Singapore.

Garuda Indonesia is operating a once weekly GA712/713 service from their Jakata Hub. Australians cannot transit in Indonesia as all transit passengers have been banned from Indonesia. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Indonesia or Indonesians returning to Indonesia.

Cathay Pacific is maintaining a trice weekly CX100/101 service from their Hong Kong hub. Australians cannot transit in Hong Kong as all transit passengers have been banned from   Hong Kong. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Hong Kong or Hong Kongers returning to Hong Kong.

China Airlines is maintaining a twice weekly CI51/52 service from their Taipei hub. Australians cannot transit in Taipei as all transit passengers have been banned from   Taipei. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Taipei or Taiwanese returning to Taipei. 

All Nippon Airways is continuing to operate three to four times weekly on its NH879/880 service from their Tokyo Haneda hub. Passengers can still transit via Tokyo Haneda, however ANA has significantly reduced their network. Options exist for connections from the US and Europe.

United Airlines is still operating their daily UA863/870 service from their San Francisco hub. You can still connect from domestic US flights onto the service to Sydney, with United offering transit from all major American cities. Passengers can transit from overseas where that country has not been restricted from transit by US officials.

LATAM is maintaining its four times weekly LA800/801 service from their Santiago hub via Auckland. Australians can still connect from throughout South America onto LATAM flights in Santiago. LATAM has special dispensation to allow for passengers to transit through New Zealand on this flight, as otherwise New Zealand have banned transit passengers.

Air New Zealand is still operating their three times weekly NZ103/104 service from their Auckland hub. Australians cannot transit in New Zealand as all transit passengers have been banned from New Zealand. These flights are only for Australians returning home from New Zealand or New Zealanders returning to New Zealand. 

Australians can obviously return home easily by commercial means if they happen to be in one of the 10 destinations with service to Sydney. For those who aren’t in one of these 10 cities, Qatar Airways via Doha, ANA via Tokyo Haneda, United via San Francisco and LATAM via Santiago are the best options. This is because they are the only four places where you can still connect onto a flight to Sydney as a transit passenger.

Photos – L3 Kingsford Line is Open

The L3 Kingsford Branch of the CBD and South East Light Rail opened on Friday 3 April at 5am. Check out our favourite photos from the day.

Next service boards advertising the new line – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Tram departing Town Hall for Kingsford – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Two trams on the new L3 line pass on George Street in the CBD – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Tram setting down at the Juniors Kingsford terminus – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Tram ready to depart Juniors Kingsford for Circular Quay – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Signage for the Bus-Light Rail interchange at Juniors Kingsford as a tram departs – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Signage for the Juniors Kingsford Station – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Social distancing measures implemented on trams on the new L3 line – Transport NSW Blog Collection
An L2 Randwick and new L3 Kingsford trams sit side by side at the Circular Quay terminus – Transport NSW Blog Collection
L3 Kingsford tram sits at Circular Quay terminus – Transport NSW Blog Collection

Transport NSW Blog would like to note that these photos were taken on an essential journey that would have occurred regardless of the opening of the light rail. Correct social distancing procedures were followed at all times. 

L3 Kingsford Line to open 3 April 2020

Finally, despite delay after delay, the L3 Kingsford Line is slated to open tomorrow Friday 3 April 2020. This comes after the government failed to meet its most recent opening target or “March 2020”.  The first service is expected to be at 10am.

The L3 Kingsford Line will open at 10am on 3 April 2020 – Transport NSW Blog Collection

The line, as part of the CBD and South East Light Rail project, will operate between Circular Quay and Juniors Kingsford. It shares the same corridor through the CBD to Moore Park as the L2 Randwick line, before branching off and operating through Kensington and Kingsford in the median of Anzac Parade.

The line has been greatly delayed. The line was originally supposed to be finished in early 2018 for a mid-late 2018 opening. Due to construction delays and a legal battle between construction company Acciona and the government, this was revised to “some time in 2019”. Upon the start of testing in August 2019, it was revealed that the opening of the Kingsford branch had been further pushed back to March 2020. This was to allow for more time for testing and landscaping works. After missing the March 2020 date due to travel slowdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a soft opening will instead take place on 3 April 2020.

The opening will be a ‘soft opening’. This means no press release or promotion of the new services in order to try and reduce the patronage on the line, which must open for contractual reasons. This ‘soft opening’ is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which people are being encouraged to stay at home and not travel unnecessarily.