State Transit handed over operation of the Region 8 contract, covering Sydney’s Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore, to Keolis Downer at 12:01am this morning, 31 October 2021. This is the first of three handovers to occur over the next 6 months, as the NSW Government follows through on plans to privatise the entire State Transit network.
State Transit had a 88 year history of operations on the Northern Beaches and Lower North Shore. The first government operated service in was on Route 144 between Manly and Cremorne on December 25 1932. As part of this handover, Route 144 will revert to private operation after 88 years. At the time of handover, there were 450 buses based in Region 8 across 3 depots.
The final service operated by State Transit in Region 8 was the 23:55 172X from Wynyard to Warringah Mall via North Balgowlah. 1966 had the honours of operating this last trip. See below for some photos of this final service
There will be changes to bus services in Northern, North-Western and Western Sydney from the 18th and 24th of October. These changes have been designed to streamline services and update timetables to reflect changed traffic conditions.
Hillsbus and Forest Coachlines Changes (all except Route 779) will occur on Monday 18 October 2021
Busways Changes (Route 779) will occur on Sunday 24 October
OCTOBER 2021 BUS CHANGES
Route withdrawn All existing trips to operate as route 607X between the City and Bella Vista. Customers travelling from the City to beyond Bella Vista can still catch Nightride route N92.
Additional services Route 607X will replace all existing route 607N between City and Bella Vista. Service frequency on weekends increased to 15 minutes. Minor timetable adjustments across the week to better reflect traffic conditions. Over 70 additional weekly services.
Route and timetable changes Route 610X weekday peak hour services between Kellyville and Castle Hill will no longer run; all services will operate between Castle Hill and the City only. Alternative travel options for customers between Kellyville and Castle Hill available on routes 601, 626, 632, 633 and 715, providing connections to Sydney Metro or other bus services at either Hills Showground or Castle Hill stations. Minor changes to weekday peak hour service frequency. Weekday early morning and off-peak frequency increased to 10 minutes. Additional early morning and evening trips on weekends. Minor timetable adjustments across the week to better reflect traffic conditions. Over 30 additional weekly services.
Additional services Service frequency on Sundays increased to 15 minutes. Around 40 additional weekly services.
Timetable change Changes to service hours during morning and afternoon peak on weekdays, with reduction in shoulder peak trips. Service frequency will be maintained during the busiest part of the morning and afternoon peak.
New route Operates between Rouse Hill and Gables via Box Hill. Operates every 30 mins on weekdays and on weekends. Provides new access to bus services for newly developed areas of Box Hill in the Mount Carmel Drive and Brahman Road area. Over 440 additional weekly services,
Route extension and additional services Existing route 779 (St Marys – Erskine Park) will be extended to the Oakdale West precinct at Kemps Creek and upgraded to support customer access to existing and new employment areas in Erskine Park and Kemps Creek. Operating hours will increase, with new off peak and weekend services. Over 170 additional weekly services.
New school routes New school services to serve new Santa Sophia Catholic. College:4x AM routes – routes 2107, 2108, 2109, 2110 4x PM routes – routes 2687, 2688, 2689, 2690. 40 additional weekly services commencing in Term 4.
Transport for NSW has confirmed that public transport across New South Wales will return to weekday timetables from Monday 11 October 2021. This comes as the extended lockdown restrictions that have been in place in NSW since June will be eased from the same date, after NSW reached 70% double vaccination rate earlier this week.
This move will see over 18 000 extra trips added to the network and the return of peak hour express services to the Network. There will also be additional capacity on each service, with capacity moving from 25% to 50% seated capacity. Extra green dots will be added to help guide social distancing aboard services.
Public Transport in NSW has been operating to a Saturday timetable since 23 August due to COVID-19 related staff shortages. There is some concern that staff shortages will lead to cancellations and gaps in service with the return to weekday timetables. State Transit’s Waverley depot in Sydney’s East has been short of drivers this week leading to cancellations and Transit’s Systems Leichhardt Depot has seen continual service cancellations since the emergence of a first COVID case there in early August.