Today, Monday December 21 2020, was the final day of operation for the UNSW express buses which have spent decades shuttling students from Central Station to UNSW and return. The final trip was a Route 898 service from UNSW High Street to Central, departing at 6:59pm and arriving into Central at 7:16pm to end an era.
UNSW express bus services began as early as March 1962, with express short workings of Route 393 and 395 operating between UNSW and Central. From March 2 1964, these services were designated as their own seperate routes, gaining the route numbers 693 and 695. By 1967, the routes had been reorganised so that Route 691 serviced the High Street side of UNSW and Route 695 serviced the Anzac Parade side of UNSW, before being renumbered as the 891 and 895 at some point in the 1990s.
Over the years, a number of different other route variants also serviced UNSW. Route 690 (later 890) operated from Circular Quay to UNSW Anzac Parade via Taylor Square all stops, whilst Route 694 (later 894) operated express from UNSW Anzac Parade to Circular Quay in the PM Peak. Route 659 operated limited stops between UNSW and Bondi Junction, whilst Route 892 operated limited stops between UNSW High Street and Circular Quay.
As a result of construction for the CBD and South East Light Rail project, from 25 October 2015, the UNSW routes were reorganised. AM Peak trips from Central to UNSW High Street retained their 891 route number. PM Peak trips were consolidated to only operate from High Street on Route 893 (lower campus) and Route 898 (upper campus). This was the final set up that operated until the last day of service.
It was the light rail that ultimately became the demise for UNSW express buses. From Tuesday 22 December 2020, UNSW students and staff will have to catch the light rail from Central to UNSW, with stops provided on both High Street (on the L2 Randwick Line) and ANZAC Parade (on the L3 Kingsford Line).