More COVID Changes to Timetables in Sydney

Once again, there are changes to the timetables for public transport in Sydney. Bus services will move to a Saturday timetable with additional peak trips. This is in response to significant staff shortages caused by positive COVID-19 tests amongst a number of staff at depots across Sydney.

There are changes to timetables due to COVID-19 related staff shortages.

Changes by mode are listed below;


Services in Greater Sydney will operate to an amended Saturday timetable. There will be additional trips to ensure frequency is retained on high demand corridors and additional trips on weekday only routes that service key employment precincts. This includes a full weekday timetable for Route 309X from Railway Square to Port Botany.


Services will operate hourly on all lines.

Light Rail

L1 Dulwich Hill Line services will operate to a normal weekday timetable. L2 Randwick Line services will operate to a Sunday timetable with additional services in the early morning and early afternoon. L3 Kingsford Line services will operate to a Sunday timetable.


Services will run every 10 minutes during peak periods and every 20 minutes at other times. 


Sydney Trains services will mostly operate to a weekend timetable. There will be additional services in the early morning and early afternoon to support construction and trade based essential workers as well as extra peak services to support social distancing.

NSW TrainLink Intercity services will mostly operate to a weekend timetable including the Hunter, Bathurst, Southern Highland lines.

NSW TrainLink regional services are operating on an ad-hoc basis, with most services being cancelled.

Transport for NSW is still urging all residents to stay home whilst the lockdown under COVID-19 Public Health Order continues.

Trips Cancelled as Due to COVID Related Staff Shortages

An employee who worked at Transit Systems Leichhardt Depot has reportedly tested positive to COVID-19. As a result, hundreds of services operated out of Leichhardt Depot have been cancelled today. This has affected dozens of routes across the Inner West and Inner City.

A Murray’s Coach operates a 438 between Martin Place and Leichhardt, replacing Transit Systems Leichhardt bus services – Transport NSW Blog Collection

The positive COVID-19 test of a staff member at Leichhardt Depot has forced over 200 staff to isolate for two weeks. This is having a significant impact on the ability for Leichhardt Depot to operate services.

Transport for NSW organised for coach companies to help provide a replacement to the cancelled services. Coaches operated on the following routes, with services approximately every 30 minutes;

  • 431 – Glebe to Central
  • 437 – Five Dock to Leichhardt
  • 438 – Abbotsford to Leichhardt and Leichhardt to Martin Place
  • 442 – Balmain to QVB
  • 470 – Lilyfield to Central

Despite the replacement coaches, many routes were left with no service at all. The cancellations affected routes 320, 389, 430, 431, 433, 437, 438N, 438X, 440, 441, 442, 445, 470, 502, 503, 504 and 504X.

Update 14/08/21 – Some drivers who were deemed ‘casual contacts’ have now been able to return to work upon receiving negative COVID-19 tests. A limited service on trunk corridors is operating. Alternative operators are still operating for some services on these routes in order to ensure a proper service frequency.

Routes operating include; 320, 389, 431, 437, 438X, 440, 442, 470 and 504

CDC Hillsbus were operating Transit Systems Route 389 due to COVID-19 related staff shortages at Leichhardt Depot – Transport NSW Blog

Update 16/08/21 – Services in Transit Systems Leichhardt operating area are operating to a Sunday timetable with some reduced frequencies as more drivers are able to return to work. This means that there is a basic level of services across all routes in the area from today. Alternative operators are still operating for some services on these routes in order to ensure a proper service frequency.

Update 18/08/21 – Services operated by State Transit Ryde and Waverley Depots are operating to a Saturday timetable with no school services due to COVID-19 related driver shortages. NSW TrainLink services are not running into Queensland, Victoria or South Australia and there are mass cancellations across the NSW TrainLink network.

Snowy Mountains Bus Trial

Transport for NSW and Cooma Coaches will operate a trial bus service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between Friday August 6 2021 and Sunday 19 September. Services will operate between Jindabyne, Perisher Valley and Thredbo between 6am and 6:30pm.

A new bus service will link Jindabyne with Perisher and Thredbo – Transport NSW Blog Collection
Cooma Coaches will operate new trial services in the NSW snowfields – Transport NSW Blog Collection

The new service will help to alleviate issues with carpark overcrowding, and provide a safer way for visitors to enter the Kosciuszko National Park on weekends. The bus service will pick-up and drop-off at four locations in Jindabyne, so customers can leave their car parked at their accommodation and easily walk to one of the stops.

Skiers and boarders will be allowed to travel with their gear as well as a day pack. Other baggage is limited to off peak services and 20kg per person.

Key Facts about the trial include;

  • Bus service run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Peak morning services to Perisher and Thredbo run between 6am – 10am and off-peak services run between 10am – 5.30pm. Peak afternoon services from Perisher and Thredbo run between 2pm and 6:30pm and off peak services run between 8:30am and 2pm.
  • You can pre-book your seat online or turn up and go.
  • Services will cost $20 return or $10 one way
  • 12 buses will be operated by Cooma Coaches on the service
Map of new route in Jindabyne – Transport for NSW

The Problem With Sunday Timetables

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.  

Services operate less frequently on Sundays compared to the rest of the week – Transport NSW Blog Collection
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