Private Buses Route of the Month 3

This month our private bus route of the month is the 270 operated by Forest Coachlines. It operates between Terry Hills and City QVB via Forestville, Frenchs Forest and Austlink

It initally began operation on 27 July 1992 as a weekday peak hour only services, created thanks to the Passenger Transport Act of 1990 which allowed suburaban operators the first contact regions in which they could create innovative routes and services. From then the 270 expanded to provide a full time frequent service due to numerous timetable upgrades. Since 2010 other new routes such as the 271 which services more areas and L70 which operates a faster service have taken over many 270 services to help better serve customer needs.
Today the route route runs every 30 minutes between 6am – 9pm Monday to Saturday and hourly between 7am – 8pm on Sunday.  It takes between 48-68 minutes to run the route from end to end. 

It is serviced by a fleet of buses with Volvo or Mercedes Benz Chassis and Custom Coaches bodywork out of Forest Coachlines Terry Hills depot.

Transport Heritage Expo

This long weekend, the Transport Heritage Expo returned to Central Station. It celebrates the transport heritage of NSW. It is run by Transport Hertiage NSW with the support of NSW Rail Museuem, Sydney Bus Museum and Sydney Trains. There are many free activites people could participate in with some activities requiring a extra cost. There are many vintage Trains and buses taking part in the event including a “Red Rattler”, a 1930s Steam Train, and various double decker AEC, Albion and Leyland buses. The event on Saturday and finishes tomorrow afternoon.

Activites included;

  • Vintage Bus Rides (Free)
  • Vintage Trains Displays (Free)
  • Modern Waratah Comparison (Free)
  • Mortars Station Tours (Free)
  • Art and Photgraphy Forum (Cost)
  • Vintage Train Rides (Cost)
  • Devonshire Tea on Train (Cost)


Tram Tracks 2

This month, we will look at the history of Modern Light Rail in Sydney.

A original VarioTram at Convention 

In the 1990s as part of the urban renewal program at Darling harbour, the decision was made to convert a section of the disused Metropolitan Goods Railway line into light rail. The line opened in August 1997 between Wetworth Park and Central Station. An extention to Lilyfild opened in August 2000 and to Dulwich Hill in March 2014 when the line was renamed the L1 Dulwich Hill Line. The line operated under Metro Transport Sydney branding until June 2013 before being rebranded Sydney Light Rail.

Placard for Opening of Lilyfield light rail station

Throughout the early 2010s a number of proposals were made to run a light rail line through the Sydney CBD between Central and Circular Quay, to Sydney Univeristy and to the Univeristy of NSW. In 2012, it was announced the prefered route for the new line was from Circular Quay to the Univeristy of NSW.

In December 2012, the government annouced the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) project based on the previous prefered route. The line will run between Circular Quay and Moore Park via Central before branching off to Kingsford and Randwick via both the Lower and Upper Univeristy of NSW campuses.

Full proposed Inner Sydney light rail network.

Construction of the line began in 2014 and is ongoing with around 5 kilometres of track laid to date. The two lines are expected to be called the L2 Randwick line and the L3 Kingsford Line. Extention of the lines to Coogee and Maroubra respectively are widely expected.

Sydney Bus Strike – What You Need To Know

STA services in the Inner West will not operate tomorrow as drivers strike in respone to the planned sell off of Inner West bus services. Services operated from Burwood, Kingsgrove Leichhardt and Tempe are affected.

Some limited services on major routes will still run in addition to routes serviced by depots that are not affected. These include most Victoria Road services and a limited number of M10,M20, M30, M50, 303, 370, 400, 418 and 4440 services. All of these services will be severely limited and not run to a timetable, don’t rely on them. Some routes in other areas will also be affected as they are operated by these depots.

The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) announced the strike on Wednesday evening, saying it will begin at midnight and last for 24 hours. The Rail, Tram and Bus Union sys the strike will “affect all routes across the inner west and southern Sydney”. In a statement, the union said the strike was a reaction to Transport Minister Andrew Constance’s “betrayal of inner western and south Sydney commuters and public transport workers. This action is our members’ initial response to this outrageous action”.

Mr Preston said members of the public should make alternative arrangements to get to work and school, and urged Premier Gladys Berejiklian to intervene in the situation immediately. “Minister Constance needs to understand that you cannot treat the community and public transport workers with such contempt,” he said. “We call on the Premier to intervene as a matter of urgency and put a stop to this attack on our public transport network.”

Services in the area highlighted in blue are affected

In a statement on Wednesday evening, Mr Constance said he hoped workers would break the strike and turn up to work anyway. He said the government is sourcing a fleet of buses to operate a “more limited service in the areas of highest demand”. “This call for a strike is about union bosses putting themselves before customers, egged on by the Labor party,” Mr Constance said. “I hope the majority of bus drivers who want to deliver a better service to customers ignore their union bosses and show up to work tomorrow.

The Begining of the End – Plans to Privatise Sydney Buses

Tonight for the first time, the NSW government has confirmed what has been long expected. It plans to privatise the State Tranist Authoritiy Sydney Buses services.

The contract for Region 6, covering most Sydney’s Inner West including Burwood, Drummoyne, Leichhardt, Newtown, Olympic Park, Rockdale and Strathfield, will be put out to private tender. It is one of four regions operated by the government owned State Transit Authority.

The tender will begin in July this year and is expected to be completed with the new operteor in place by July 2018. Large companies such as Keolis Downer and Transit Systems ahve expressed an interested in the lucrative contract.

‘There have been improvements in recent years, but the State Transit (Authority) still lags a long way behind its industry competitors in measures like on-time running and reliability,’  The services had some of the worst on-time running results last year, and attracted the highest number of complaints out of Sydney’s metropolitan area in recent years.’ The Transport Minister Andrew Constance said in a statement on Monday.

Labor’s spokeswoman for transport Jodi McKay says she fears the plans are a prelude to a wholesale sell-off of Sydney’s transport network. ‘This is a government that is rapidly getting out of the business of running public services, Buses should be run for the public benefit, not for private profit.’

About 1200 bus drivers will be affected by the decision, with the workforce highly unionised. The Rail Tram and Bus Union has signalled it will engage in strike action should the tenders go ahead as they claim they have been mislead and betrayed by the government. 

Rail Tram and Bus Union divisional secretary Chris Preston said workers had been told as recently as December that STA’s contract for bus regions in Sydney would remain after a restructure that included the axing of 200 back-office staff. “This is the biggest betrayal this Minister Constance can do to these workers. The rest of Sydney’s bus drivers will be furious as well,” he said.

It is understood that the other regions will be privatised once major new infrastructure is in place. Sydney Metro in Region 7, The B-Line in Region 8 and the CSELR in region 9. It is believed that the operators of those services will take over the STA buses as well.

Sydney Buses Route of the Week 5

This week our route of the week is the 333. It runs between Circular Quay and North Bondi via Elizabeth Street, Oxford Street, Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach. Some limited services also continue to Dover Hights

Route 333 began in 2006 as a replacement for the L82 service which was discontinued. Route 333 runs a limited stops service that duplicates and supplements the 24 Hour all stops 380 service. It runs between 6am and Midnight daily with a 10-20 minute frequency. It takes between 38-45 minutes to travel from Circular Quay to North Bondi depending on trafffic conditions.

The route was the first pre-pay only route, wher passengers had to buy a ticket before boarding. This is now commonplace on all Express, Limited Stops and Metrobus routes. In addition the 333 was one of the bus routes involved in the Opal Trial as it uses a dedicated fleet.

The 333 is operated by a dedicated fleet of articulated Volgren buses with a Volvo B12BLEA chassis operating out of Waverley depot.

Pictured: Signage for Opal Customer Trial
Pictured: A Articulated Volgren bodied Volvo B12BLEA operating a 333. It is using the now retired swimmer desto.

Moore Park Major Events on Saturday

This saturday it will be very busy at Moore Park with both a AFL game between the Sydney Swans and the Brisbane Lions at the SCG as well as the more important and highly antipacted A-League Grand Final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory at the neighbouring Allianz Stadium. Over 80000 fans are expected to the two matches and therefore the precinct will be busy. It is estimated that 40000 fans will attend each individual match.

The worst is expected to be around 4pm. This is 15 minutes after the expected finishing time fo the AFL match and 1 hour prior to the start of the A-League grand final. Car parking and traffic will be an absolute nightmare as AFL fans leave and A-League fans arrive.

It is highly recommended to fans to use Pubic Transport. Expresses buses will run from Central from 9:30am until 1pm and again from 2:30pm until 5pm. These services will return to Central between 3:30pm and 5pm and again between 18:45pm until 1 hour after the conclusion of the match. Regular buses also run to and from the City and South East from Anzac Parade

In addition, walking to and from Central particular around 4pm is highly recommmed. Walkers should go via the Tibby Cotter bridge and Devonshire Street.

AFL fans must pay with an Opal Card for all Public Transport use on the day. A-League fans will receive free public transport as part of a deal between FFA and the NSW Governement providing free transport to all A-League matches played in NSW.

Lane Cove Bus Changes

From last week, our readers may have noticed that there were some extra route 294 services operating between Lane Cove and Wynyard using Bendy Buses. TFNSW has confirmed that these are permenant addditons to the timetable. Some other services have had t]minor time changes to ensure a regular frequency.

From 4 June, a new route 530 will begin operating between Chatswood and Burwood via Lane Cove and Five Dock. The timetable and exact routing will be released closer to the start date. It is understood that services will run every 20-30 minutes between 6am-11pm daily.

In addition, bus marshals are now stationed at Lane Cove interchange in the mornings to provide help and assitance.