Buses in Sydney

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For more information on Sydney public transport services, see Public transport in Sydney.
Buses in Sydney
Sydney Bus "B" Logo.svg
Route 333 at Circular Quay in the new Transport for NSW livery
Locale Sydney
Transit type Bus network
Annual ridership 208.8 million in 2013-14[1]
Website transportnsw.info
Operator(s) Busabout
Forest Coach Lines
Maianbar Bundeena Bus Service
Punchbowl Bus Company
Sydney Buses
Transdev NSW
Transit Systems Sydney
Distribution map showing the percentage of the employed population who travel to work by bus only, according to the Australian census 2011.

Buses are a major part of public transport in the city of Sydney, Australia. Services are operated by both a large government operator, the State Transit Authority of New South Wales (STA), and numerous smaller private operators. The STA generally operates services in Sydney's east, north, inner west and inner southern suburbs, a legacy of the former tram network, most of which were replaced by the current bus network in the late 1950s. The western suburbs and most of the southern suburbs are served by smaller private operators in contract areas.

Sydney Metropolitan Bus System Contracts[edit]

Bus companies in Sydney operate public and school services under contract to Transport for NSW for a period of seven years. There are 15 contract regions in Sydney (now 14), with each region operated by a single operator with the exception of Region 10 which has two operators. A requirement of the contracts is that operators adopt a white and two blues livery as prescribed by Transport for NSW.

Bus Operators in Sydney[edit]

There are currently ten bus operators in Sydney:

Operates Region 15 bus services in the Campbelltown and Camden areas
Operates Region 1 bus services in the Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Penrith, Windsor, St Marys, Richmond and Rouse Hill areas, as well as services on the North-West T-way.
Operate Region 14 bus services in Sydney's northern suburbs.
A subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Cabcharge. Operates Region 4 bus services from depots at Dural, Northmead and Seven Hills and runs services in the Baulkham Hills, Rouse Hill and Blacktown areas, as well as services on the North-West T-way.
Operates Region 2 bus services out of a depot in Macquarie Fields in the Liverpool and Glenfield area.
Operates a Region 10 bus service between Maianbar and Bundeena
Operate Region 5 bus services in the south and inner south western suburbs, from a depot at Riverwood.
Government operator. A subsidiary of government-owned agency State Transit Authority. Operates Region 6 to 9 bus services in inner Sydney
Operates Regions 10 and 13 bus services in Sydney's southern suburbs and Region 12 bus services in the North Shore.
Operates Region 3 bus services in Western Sydney and services on the Liverpool-Parramatta T-way.

There were a lot more bus operators that have gone defunct in the late 1900s and early 2000s. Some went defunct because of failed tendering of the bus service contracts. The latest bus operators to go defunct were Westbus, Metro-link Bus Lines and Hopkinsons whose Region 3 services were passed to Transit Systems Sydney on 20 October 2013.

Bus Fleet[edit]

Double-decker buses were a common sight in previous decades and have recently returned to Sydney

Most of the bus vehicles in Sydney are single-decker rigid buses, with various liveries of their own companies, as well as Metrobus and Transport for NSW liveries. Some bus operators also have articulated buses, for example, Sydney Buses uses articulated buses for its Metrobus as well as popular services such as 333 and L90. Double decker buses have also been introduced since 2012. So far, only Busways, Hillsbus and Forest Coach Lines have these double decker buses.

Bus Routes[edit]

Main article: Bus routes in Sydney

Public bus routes in Sydney have three digits, mostly 100-999. Some of these three digits maybe a letter prefix followed by a two-digit number. Examples of these letter prefixes are the Metrobus which has the prefix M, or the T-way routes which have the prefix T. The exceptions to three digit route numbers are Busabout Camden routes which are 31-49. School services operated by some private companies also have four digits.

The three digit route numbers can be classified into nine groups:

  • 100 series – Northern Beaches
  • 200 series – Northern Districts and North Shore
  • 300 series – Eastern Suburbs
  • 400 series – Inner West and Southern Suburbs
  • 500 series – North West
  • 600 series – Western Suburbs and Hills District (T-way)
  • 700 series – Outer Western Suburbs and Hills District (T-way)
  • 800 series – Outer South-Western Suburbs
  • 900 series – St George/Sutherland and South West

Special services are denoted by letter prefixes in their route number:

  • MMetrobus services
  • E or X – Express service (used by State Transit; "E" is used for Northern Beaches services, "X" elsewhere – private operators use other conventions)
  • L – Limited Stops service (used by State Transit, although some Limited Stops routes use normal three-digit numbers)
  • T – Services operating, at least for the most part, via a T-way
  • S – "Shopper Hopper" route (used for some private operators' routes that typically run between morning and afternoon peaks, Monday-Friday only)
  • NNightRide services


Main article: Metrobus (Sydney)

Metrobus is a high frequency bus network around Sydney. They often link key employment and growth centres. There are currently thirteen Metrobus routes in Sydney. They are operated by both government and private operators. The first route M10 commenced in October 2008, as route 10.

Metrobus services run at a frequency of 10 minutes during peak periods, 15 minutes during off-peak weekday periods, and 20 minutes on weekends. Buses have low floor entry, are wheelchair accessible and fully air conditioned. They have a dedicated red livery, though occasionally other buses are used.


Main article: NightRide

NightRide is a network of late night buses around Sydney. They operate between midnight and 05:00 on weekdays, and are operated by private operators. It was first introduced in 1989.

There are currently thirteen NightRide routes in Sydney. Most of them start or terminate at Town Hall railway station, with the exception of N20 which start from Rockdale and N100 which start from Railway Square. Passengers can board the N100 for free only at King's Cross citybound.

Bus lanes[edit]

Many roads in Sydney have bus lanes where only buses and taxis are allowed. Many of them are operational for 24 hours, or during the peak hour. Cameras are often set up along bus lanes and drivers who break rules by driving along bus lanes at dedicated times are fined.

Other bus-only lanes include the one in Moore Park, dedicated roadways at the centre of M2 Hills Motorway and T-ways.


Main article: T-way

Sydney has two operating transitways (or T-ways):

These T-ways can only be used by buses or authorised vehicles. Cameras have been set up along the T-way and vehicles without unauthorised access are fined. Bus stops, or T-way stops,

There had been plans to built seven T-ways since 1998. Currently, only two had been completed. A third one was half completed and has been classified a branch of the North-West T-way.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Transport for NSW 2013/14 Annual Report" (pdf). Transport for NSW. p. 35. 

External links[edit]