Sydney's bus future: Simple, faster, better bus services

Published: 27 Sep 2016

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian released Sydney’s Bus Future – the NSW Government’s long term plan to redesign our city’s bus network to meet customer needs now and into the future.

The 20 year plan will ensure more than 1.5 million Sydneysiders will live within a ten minute walk to new ‘turn up and go’ services, Ms Berejiklian said.

“Sydney’s Bus Future outlines how we are already improving and creating new routes, simplifying timetables, and making interchanges more convenient.

“This is the first time the Government has taken a fresh look at the bus network to see where short, medium and long term changes are needed, to overhaul the entire network and improve customer journeys on our buses.

“More than 220 million customer trips are made on buses every year and are often delayed because buses run along outdated routes and are caught in congested corridors like Victoria Road, Parramatta Road and through the CBD.”

This Government is already improving the customer experience in Sydney by providing simpler, faster and more reliable bus services, but more needs to be done to optimise the network, Ms Berejiklian said.

“Since March 2011 we have introduced more than 4,700 new weekly bus services, invested more than $90 million for 200 new buses this financial year, and started the massive task of rolling out Opal electronic ticketing on buses.

“We have also introduced double decker buses and real-time apps to help people plan their journey, which is changing the way customers use buses across Sydney.”

The Government also diverted 60 buses to the Cahill Expressway to reduce the lengthy delays for customers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge heading to York Street. Reliability has now improved by 22 per cent and travel times have been cut by up to 35 minutes a week for north west customers.

“However as patronage increases and major infrastructure projects including CBD Light Rail and South West and North West Rail Links come on-line, we need to re-think how the bus network operates,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Sydney’s Bus Future will streamline more than 600 bus routes and follow the lead of other global cities by introducing a new tiered network of Rapid, Suburban and Local bus services. Each level will deliver a defined level of service:

Rapid routes will connect major centres and provide a ‘turn up and go’ service like existing Metrobuses, with a bus at least every 10 minutes on weekdays.

Customers on ‘Suburban’ routes will get a bus at least every 10 minutes in commuter peaks and every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays.

Timetabled Local services will complete the network with buses stopping every 400 metres.

As part of Sydney’s Bus Future the NSW Government will also continue to grow the bus fleet through the multi-million dollar Growth Buses Program and increase bus services where customers need them most.

“We will improve journey times for customers by introducing bus priority infrastructure along key corridors, including more bus and transit lanes and traffic signal priority systems in areas like Parramatta, Macquarie Park, the Northern Beaches, the North West and around Sydney Airport,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Bus services will also change to align with key projects, for example, when light rail and the North West Rail Link are open we will be able to significantly reduce the number of buses clogging Sydney CBD streets.”

View Sydney’s Bus Future here.

Top of page