Buses and Light Rail


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Bus Information

Exploring the city on buses and trams is well worth the effort. Sydney has some of the best modern buses created. The newer bus line is fully equipped with air condition and comfortable seats so catching a bus in Sydney is enjoyable and convenient. To fully enjoy the sights and sounds of Sydney consider catching the Sydney Explorer which will allow you to get on and off for as many time as you wish.

To call Sydney Buses, dial 131 500


How to purchase your ticket
How to board your bus
Cost of Tickets
Bus Timetable
How to recognize public and private buses
About Sydney Explorer
Airport Buses
Sydney Light Rail

How to purchase your ticket

You can go about purchasing your ticket in three ways. Find the nearest train station and walk up to the teller. Tell the teller where you want to go and he or she will give you a magnetic ticket. The same ticket can also be used if you want to travel via the train or in the bus. There are bus kiosk located throughout the city that will sell you tickets in case the tellers at the stations close.

The second way to purchase your bus ticket is to simply walk up to the bus driver and tell him or her where you want to go. Although the bus driver does not expect you to have the exact change be courteous and bring along some spare change. Some bus companies will not allow you to board the bus unless you have smaller change.

The third way to get your ticket is to find stores that sell these tickets. Look out for signs on the window display. These stores will only sell you travel cards which will allow you to get on and off the buses for ten stops.

How to board your bus

This may seem like a silly idea to put into an article but boarding a bus in Sydney is quite unique. Each country will have a different idea of what to expect when you board a bus. Boarding a bus in USA requires you to put the exact change into the meter beside the bus driver. In Sydney, you are not required to do, rather you are expected to tell the driver where you wish to go and give the change to him or her. Once the transaction is complete, you are expected to take the ticket from the machine beside the driver and walk to your seat.

Once you are close to the destination of your choice, either press the buzzer located near the seats. If you are unsure of where to stop, simply ask the driver to inform you where you wish to go. Most drivers will be more than glad to help. Once the journey is over, it is not surprising to see people thanking their bus drivers especially if you board a private bus.

Cost of Tickets

Depending on the choice of destinations, the cost of bus tickets will vary. Basically, Sydney is divided into many zones. If you cross over a certain zone, then you will pay more. If you purchase your tickets at the train tellers before "Peak Hours" and board the bus, then you can expect to pay more. (See Cost of Tickets: Train for more details).

To cut back on cost, why not purchase a "Travel Ten" ticket which cost slightly less if you take the bus 10 times paying via the driver. A "Travel Ten" is a magnetic ticket which is inserted into a green meter beside the bus driver or close to the entrance door. Using this card will probably speed things up for you since most of the passengers will go through the driver and you don't have to.

Bus Timetable

To get a timetable, simply ask the driver for one or you can take one located near the dashboard. It is free and very handy to have. Bus timetables are also located on the stands in various bus stops. All you have to do is find out the number of the bus you are taking (for example, getting a bus from Epping Station to the city is either bus number 288 or 291), then look out for the number on the timetable to read the bus times. If you are unsure, ask the nearest person next to you and they will be more than happy to help you out.

For more information on bus timetable, visit Sydney Bus Homepage

How to recognize public and private buses

Sydney Buses Recognizing a public bus is very easy. Just look out for the blue and white bus. (See picture on right) The closer you are to the metropolitan area of Sydney the chances of boarding a public bus is almost 100%. The further you are from the city, you are more likely to board a private bus. Private buses come in a variety of colors and sizes and will charge you depending on the destination of your choice.

Private buses in Sydney include Westbus, Busways, Glenorie Bus, Shorelink Bus and many more. To learn more about private buses and related bus routes, visit the Bus Info Homepage.

About Sydney Explorer

The Sydney Explorer in conjunction with the "Blue" Bondi & Bay Explorer is catered towards the average tourist. They allow a maximum of up to 20 stops for about $20 for an adult and $15 for children under 16 years old. The Explorer will circle around major sights such as the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks and many more. Moneywise and travelwise, the Explorer should be your first choice when you want to get to most of the tourist sights.

Airport Buses

Thinking of catching a bus once you stepped out of the airport? Then consider the Airport Express which stops by the airport every 15 to 30 minutes and will drop passengers at various points around the city. It cost just $5 one way and $8 for a return which is certainly cheaper than catching a taxi. Look for the brightly yellow and green bus. Tickets may be purchased once you board the bus and if you are worried about spaces to put your luggage, the bus does come with a special compartment to hold your things.

If you live outside the city and want to get to the airport by bus, then the Central Coast Airbus would probably be your best bet. The bus is privately owned so you can expect to pay from $10 upwards depending on how far you are from the airport. You will also need to book in advance (give at least two days notice) if you want to be picked up. The bus will probably pick you up at the nearest train station available on its route. You do not need to book for a place to sit if you are catching it from the airport.

For more information on bookings and timetables, visit the Central Coast Airbus Homepage.

Sydney Light Rail

The Sydney Light Rail or the TramLink has suffered unkindly remarks throughout its making. Today, the rail is a pleasurable private transport running from the Star City Casino, the Sydney Terminal Station (Central) through to Wentworth Park. The new light rail which is a revamp of the old trams that ran in Sydney during the sixties which was then taken off to make way for new roads. The new light rail is modern and is air conditioned. To purchase a ticket, simply head for the nearest terminal port and use the ticket machine there. If you are unsure of what to do, look out for the Light Rail attendants close by. If you carry a bike, it will cost you extra. It is free if you do not catch the rail at its busiest which is usually between 6am to 9am and between 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

For more information about the Sydney Light Rail visit Matthew Geier's interesting article on the light rail as well as related links. The History of Sydney's trams can be found on the Sydney Tram History Homepage.

TramLink Zone

  1. Central Station
  2. Capitol Square
  3. Hay Market
  4. Exhibition Centre
  5. Convention Centre
  1. Prymont Bay
  2. Star City Casino
  3. John Street Square
  4. Fish Market
  5. Wentworth Park

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