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A Custom Coaches bodied Volvo B7RLE in July 2023
ParentRowe family
Commenced operation1942; 81 years ago (1942)
Service areaAdelaide
Central Coast
Great Lakes
Mid North Coast
Service typeBus services
Fleet1354 (September 2023)
Managing DirectorByron Rowe[1]
The Busways logo between 2008 and 2019

Busways is an Australian bus company operating services in Sydney, and in the Central Coast, Great Lakes, Mid North Coast regions of New South Wales and Adelaide. It is the largest privately owned bus operator in Australia.[2]


A Custom Coaches bodied Scania K230UB at Castle Hill in July 2013
A Bustech 'VST' bodied MAN 18-310 in old livery

The origins of Busways can be traced to 1942 when Dick Rowe commenced a hire car service from Rooty Hill to Plumpton. In 1946 Rowe purchased his first bus and further expansion saw a depot established in Plumpton in 1958.[3][4]

In 1958, in partnership with Fred Bowman, Rowe purchased Parramatta-Villawood Bus Service followed by Campbelltown Transit on 13 May 1967 in partnership with Roger Graham and Jim Newport. In 1970, Rowe had taken full ownership of Campbelltown Transit and in January 1978 sold out of Parramatta-Villawood.[3][4][5][6]

In 1984, Riverstone Bus Service was purchased and merged with Rowe's Bus Service. In June 1986 Higlett's Motor Coach Services, Camden was purchased and rebranded Macarthur Coaches.[3][4][5][7]

In 1988, Campbelltown Transit, Macarthur Coaches and Rowe's Bus Service were all rebranded as Busways.[8] In February 1990 the Seargent's, Charmhaven business on the Central Coast was purchased[9] followed in July 1994 by the neighbouring Peninsula Bus Lines business in Kincumber, Ourimbah and Umina.[3][10]

In June 1991, the Campbelltown to Wollongong service of Farmborough Coaches was acquired.[4] In November 1992 Busways took over operation of the routes of Leslies, Arndell Park following its collapse before purchasing them in May 1993.[4][11]

In September 2003, Busways purchased the Great Lakes and Mid North Coast services of King Brothers from its administrator.[12] In January 2008 the school services of Yarramalong Bus Lines, Wyong were purchased[13] followed by those of Kulnura Bus Lines in July 2009.[14]

Current operations[edit]

Western Sydney services[edit]

Bustech CDi double decker, running route T75

Since 2005, Busways' services in the Blacktown area have formed part of Sydney Bus Region 1, held in partnership with Westbus and Hawkesbury Valley Buses. Operating from a depot in Glendenning, scheduled route and school services cover an area encompassed by Seven Hills and Castle Hill in the east; Rouse Hill and Riverstone in the north; Shalvey and St Marys in the west; Minchinbury and Prospect to the south.

The regional centres of Blacktown and Mount Druitt are a focus for all services, with trips also serving the employment centres of Eastern Creek, Huntingwood and Macquarie Park. Bus/train connections are provided at a variety of railway stations. Busways also operates services along the North-West T-way between Blacktown and Rouse Hill.

In March 2007, the Parramatta - Rouse Hill section of the North-West T-way opened. Bus routes 730 (renumbered T63) and 735 (renumbered 616, now 616X) were transferred from Busways to Hillsbus while bus route 718 was transferred from Hillsbus to Busways.[15] In November 2007, the Blacktown - Parklea of the North-West T-way opened. Existing Busways bus routes were amended and renumbered to become new T-way routes (T70, T71, T74 and T75) and ran mainly along the new section.

In October 2013, Busways after winning the tender for Sydney Bus Region 1, took over the operation of services in the St Marys, Penrith, Windsor and Richmond areas from Hawkesbury Valley Buses and Westbus.[16][17]

In May 2019, as part of the Sydney Metro opening, all Busways T-way services were renumbered from "T7x" to "73x", and the former Hawkesbury Valley Buses services (661-664) were renumbered to "67x" or "74x". Some services were also rerouted to stop at Tallawong station.[18]

Sydney North Shore & West services[edit]

In July 2021, Busways was announced as the new operator for Sydney Bus Region 7 in the North Shore, Northern and Western regions of Sydney. Busways commenced operating Region 7 on 9 January 2022, taking over from State Transit.[19][20]

Central Coast services[edit]

The Gosford and Wyong areas have services provided under the Outer Metropolitan Bus System Contract Region 6. This contract with the NSW Government covers a broad area that stretches from Patonga and Wagstaffe in the south through to Swansea and Morisset in the north; and Dooralong and Mangrove Mountain in the west to Terrigal and MacMasters Beach in the east.

With depots at Kincumber and Woongarrah, the key centres served by Busways routes include Gosford, Tuggerah, Wyong, Lake Haven, Erina Fair and Woy Woy. Occasional trips also serve Charlestown in the north and Spencer in the west.

North Coast services[edit]

In September 2003, Busways purchased the services of King Brothers on the Mid North Coast from its administrator.[12] Busways provides services throughout Grafton, Kempsey, Wauchope, Laurieton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Yamba, Bulahdelah, Heatherbrae, Macksville and Raleigh.

Adelaide Outer South services[edit]

In July 2020, Busways took over Adelaide's Outer South network from SouthLink, including the Lonsdale and Seaford depots.

Former operations[edit]

Macarthur services[edit]

From 2005 Busways' services in the Macarthur Region formed Sydney Bus Region 15. Operating from depots at Campbelltown and Smeaton Grange, route and school services operated as far east as Kentlyn and Wedderburn; south to Appin and Wollongong; west to The Oaks and Warragamba; and north to Catherine Field and Raby.

Regional and district centres such as Campbelltown, Macarthur Square, Narellan and Camden were the focus of all routes. Busways operated the free Macarthur CBD shuttle which was terminated in August 2014. In June 2014 operation of the Sydney Bus Region 15 passed to Busabout.[5][21][22]

Coach services[edit]

Rowe's Bus Service previously operated coach services with a fleet of six Dennings until the coach licences were sold to Westbus in 1986. Macarthur Coaches also operated some coaches that were sold in 1990.[23] Until October 2011 Busways operated a service from Forster to Sydney. Busways operate coach services from Newcastle to Taree under contract to NSW TrainLink.


A Bustech 'VST' bodied MAN 18-310 in current Transport for NSW livery

Having traditionally purchased Leyland buses, in November 1978 the first of 30 Volvo B58s were delivered. Since then, Busways have purchased buses from MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo. In the 1970s the Rowe fleet livery was white with a red stripe, with an orange stripe added in 1988. Since 2010, the blue and white Transport for NSW livery has been applied to the Sydney and Central Coast fleets.

As of September 2023, Busways operates 1,220 buses, excluding Adelaide operations.[24] Busways' Adelaide operations operates 134 buses. A total of 1,354 buses are operated by Busways across Australia.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Company". Busways. Archived from the original on 9 March 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Busways extends service operations to South Australia, appointed new operator of Adelaide's Outer South contract". Busways. 10 March 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d The History of Busways Busways
  4. ^ a b c d e New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. 1993. p. 41.
  5. ^ a b c "Contractor changes in Sydney regions 2 and 15" Australian Bus issue 64 July 2014 pages 36/37
  6. ^ Delwood Coaches Archived 5 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  7. ^ "What Has Changed in 20 Years" Australian Bus Panorama 14/2 October 1998 page 8
  8. ^ "Name change" Fleetline June 1990 page 96
  9. ^ "Ownership changes" Fleetline June 1990 page96
  10. ^ "Peninsula Buslines" Australian Bus Panorama 10/2 August 1994 page 54
  11. ^ "Private operators" Fleetline September 1993 page 193
  12. ^ a b Bus firm buys failed King Bros business Archived 4 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine ABC News 24 September 2003
  13. ^ Yarramalong Bus Lines Archived 8 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  14. ^ Kulnura Bus Lines Archived 9 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  15. ^ Improved bus services in the Blacktown region Busways 27 February 2007
  16. ^ Cut costs or bus contracts will go to private sector, minister tells drivers Archived 5 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine Sydney Morning Herald 7 November 2012
  17. ^ Busways win a 300 bus contract in Western Sydney Archived 26 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Busways 7 November 2012
  18. ^ "Western Sydney bus service adjustments from 26 May". Busways. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Busways' Sydney operations more than double with award of one of Transport for NSW's largest bus contracts". Busways. 30 July 2021. Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  20. ^ Busways wins region 7 bus contract Archived 30 July 2021 at the Wayback Machine Australasian Bus & Coach 30 July 2021
  21. ^ More than 60 new buses and improved customer service with new bus contracts Archived 8 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine Transport for NSW 29 August 2013
  22. ^ Busways Campbelltown May 2014, Retrieved 18 April 2014
  23. ^ Hunt's Coaches Archived 26 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  24. ^ Busways Archived 26 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Australian Bus Fleet Lists