Route 555: Free Sydney CBD Shuttle
The free Sydney CBD Shuttle runs every 10 minutes. The service operates in both directions on a loop from Central Station to Circular Quay via George Street.
Hours of operation are:
Weekdays: 9.00am to 3.30pm, with a late finish of 9pm on Thursday evenings.
Weekends: 9.00am to 6.00pm.
Sydney is an amazing place to take kids. We went back to Sydney in 2013 this time with 2 children. Interestingly when you go on public transport with the children in Sydney you pay half price for the first child. Second child is free.
Bus, ferry. Both seem to run on time.
The BCD provides a free shuttle bus #555 between the Circular Quay and the central train station, it runs along Georges and Elizabeth Streets, just look for the bus stops on these streets and give your feet a rest.
Although I rode the buses here during my first visit, city buses seem to always be the last of a city's transit system I experience. During our 2007 trip we took the 380 from Bondi Junction out to the beach and then when we were done with the beach decided to ride it to its end up in Watson's Bay. What a nice ride that is.
Then of course there was our extensive use of the 311 as this is the bus that goes through Potts Point. Its run is from Circular Quay down Elizabeth through Hyde Park and over to Woolloomooloo and then through Potts Point and Kings Cross before heading for Central Station again.
Of course our Transit Pass covered all fares.
Several of the new limited stops buses are prepay only so be sure you have a ticket if you get on these.
New in 2011, you can now text the bus stop number of your current location for the next buses coming and if they are late. I will work to get this number and update the tip.
Since then we have used many other buses and find it is a great way to spend a day seeing new areas. Just remember people use the buses for basic transportation so do not go sightseeing from the bus during rush hours.
SYDNEY CITY TRANSPORT HUB
When In Sydney the majority of visitors are in this precinct and it is really the hub of all the Sydney CBD transport system..see the map and explains all ...where to catch RED and BLUE Explorer busses..All the ferries leave and depart from this location.. ie:(Manly, Parramatta,The Zoo,Milsons Point ) also remember the ferries link up with local busses ...a large amount of the cities busses leave from here at the Quay ..also..if you blow up the map it will be more detailed but this shows where to catch what...a train from here can take you to The Central Railway station where you can catch a train to anywhere on the Australian mainland..and links to all suburban and inter-urban trains..bus routes are clearly marked and travel all over the city.
The "Quay" also is aconstant hive of activity as this pecinct is a haven for local and foreign visitors enjoying its wonderful ambience , to just sit and "people watch" is a great way to relax.. Located here also is the historical "Rocks" area and the Overseas Cruise Liner passenger terminal..(see map)..The majority of harbour and dinner cruises depart from the Circular Quay also..most tickets can be booked on the ferry wharves.
SYDNEY PUBLIC BUS SERVICES
. The Sydney suburban bus network is really good and will get you to most places that you need to.The main departure centres for the city are at the Circular Quay , Railway Square , for the city routes and Manly Wharf and Warringah Mall that covers all the Northern Suburbs..
Circular Quay is the main transport "hub" in the city as this is where Trains ,Busses, and Ferries depart and return to. On Circular Quay by wharf #4 you will find a train Information Centre if you need oward train travel information.
Outside the Wharf area at Circular Quay is Customs House Square, you will see all designated different bus stops for all city busses. These Shelters all have route destinations and timetables. The busses here appear to be non stop but there are so many different destinations..There is also a bus information centre (please see information map). Here you can purchase, daily weekly, or monthly, bus tickets neccesary to board busses as they are pre- paid tickets only. You will see the numbered headboards on all busses for their destinations.
Sydney Suburban busses carry a white/blue livery and are easily distinguished between other busses. There is a new fleet of 200 "red" busses being added to Sydneys bus services. They are now coming into service with more to be added.
To just get around Sydneys CBD (Central Buisiness District) there is a FREE bus that has a "green /white livery" (see photo) this is handy to just get "on and off "around the city centre. Some busses are the long "concertina " busses and these are used on very busy routes in peak hour , late night services or travel to far outer suburbs. The Sydney suburban buses are powered by natural gas keeping polution to a minimum.
Some handy bus routes #'s.
Circular Quay to/from Bondi Beach #'s 380 and L80
City to /from Palm Beach # L90
City to/from Avalon Beach#L88
City to/from Mona Vale Services #'s 184 to 190
City to Eastern Valley Way services #'s 202 to 209
City to/from Epping Road services #'s 288 to 291
Busses from Manly Wharf cover the Northern beaches and outlying Manly Waringah suburbs.
Of course this is just some maybe helpful bus numbers and routes , but , as there are just so many different bus routes to list Please check Sydney Transport information.
As ferries link up with busses at all there destinations sometimes is better to combine the two to get to a Sydney destination.
For help with hearing or speech impaired call 1800 637 500 for TTY (teletypewriter service)
The BLUE "BONDI"EXPLORER Bus is like the Red Bus but has a different route and stops at 19 different locations..where you can get on or off to suit yourself...as is the Red Bus they are air conditioned...extremely clean and mostly in new condition...They have their stops also numbered and are frequent as is the Red Bus.usually about twenty to thirty minutes...when you get off the driver will remind you..The tickets are interchangeable with the Red and Regular Sydney busses (within blue travel zone)..when you buy your ticket make sure to get the booklet showing route map times and destinations...Their bus stops and bus shelters are coloured and numbered (as the map)and have a map of the route and timetables...The route that makes this a popular bus is that it looks at most southern beaches..ie:Bondi, Bronte,Tamaramma and Coggee Beaches (SEE MY PAGES)..all are great locations for a stop /or swim..take a wander around these southern beach susburbs and you will notice the friendly community spirit that exists here as most familes have lived there for generations....I enjoyed the route on this Blue"Bondi" bus and got off at five locations..The Gap ..and then walked to Watsons Bay by the (hidden harbour beaches)..I then went to Bondi..Bronte..Coogeee..to Lady Maquaries chair..(this is one of the best locations to photograph the Opera House and The Harbour Bridge..and finished in Darling Harbour (see my tips)..This is well worth the money but as is the Red Explorer start your journey of Sydneys best locations early at 8.30 am....These busses are wheelchair friendly..The complete journey takes about two hours..
DEPARTS FROM BUS STAND B ALFRED STREET CIRCULAR QUAY..
TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED AT: ONBOARD THE BUSSES..
AT:ALL TRANSIT SHOPS LOCATED @ CIRCULAR QUAY..cnr.Loftus and Alfred Streets
AT :WYNYARD STATION Carrington Street entrance..
AT:QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING ..York Street entrance..
The Sydney Explorer.."RED BUS".visits 27 of the most interesting and famous sights there are to see in the Sydney City..This is a "Hop off"-"Hop on" bus at any of the stops that you choose to see..This bus stops at all the major sights on the tourist "must see list"..also this is the only sightseeing bus that goes over the bridge and back..see stop #3 Milsons point ..the busses are about 20 minute intervals so is time for a look and photo opportunity before getting on for the next stop on your list..when you buy a ticket ..you will receive a booklet with a detailed map of the complete bus route...with thumbnail photos of each location and what to see..onboard the bus it is airconditioned..I found them to be really nice and clean and they have a detailed commentary of the complete trip..some passengers I noticed stopped on for the complete trip choosing just to look and take photos from the bus....also this is a great way to get your bearings of Sydney and where your interesting sights are...These busses (as there are blue ones as well )..(that do some of the city and the southern beaches ..) have different stops...make sure that you are at the correct stop.(red or blue)..the driver will tell you also how long the next bus will be to pick you up.....The stops and bus shelters are clearly marked (see photos)..This I thought was a little expensive as I didn't join this bus till half way through the day...but considering where it goes it is very good value if you start early in the morning like 8.40.AM..you can certainly see a lot in a day.The full Red Explorer circuit takes2 hours to complete. THE BLUE BONDI EXPLORER BUS..can be used with the ticket from the RED EXPLORER as they are interchangeable and have much different itineraries..You can also buy a two day ticket if you like..most visitors want to get off ..and see most of the sights..Also there is a book of coupons in the brochure with the ticket that gives discounts at most of the venues on the trip..and can make the ticket really great value if utilised.
(see my BLUE "BONDI"EXPLORER TIP)..
TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED @ CIRCULAR QUAY Corner of Loftus & Alfred Streets
.. .. .. .. ... . WYNYARD STATION Carrington street entrance
.. .. .. .. ... . .. QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING..York Street entrance..
A few months ago my friends and I went out for dinner using public transport and it was a disaster so I want to share the experience we had.
I had a group of 15 friends and we wanted to be at a restaurant in Darling Harbour by 7pm so we left our location at Riverview which is about 20 minutes drive on a good day at about 13kms from our destination. We left at 5pm to be on the safe side and had to walk to the nearest bus stop (about 10 minutes walk away) and wait 20 minutes for a bus that should have arrived 15 minutes earlier, so far so good? The bus took us to the interchange at Lane Cove where we had to get off after 20 minutes driving and wait another 15 minutes for the bus to take us to the city. The bus was full and drove right past us.
We had the choice of catching another bus all stops to North Sydney and catching a train or taxi or even walking but it was cold and clouds threatened rain so we waited for the next one.
The bus timetable said the next express bus was due in 25 minutes and the next all stops bus was due in 12 minutes. At this time we decided to experiment and half the group would take the early all stops bus and the other half would wait for the express and we’d meet up at Wynyard in Sydney’s CBD.
As usual the all stops bus was 10 minutes late and arrived 6:27pm there was about 8 other people wanting to get on and 8 from our group so it took about 5 minutes for everyone to pay and get on. We have transfer tickets but it still took ages and our group squeezed on and had to stand on the bus pack in like sardines in a fogged up bus that was noisy, smelly and very uncomfortable. At every bus stop someone had to get off and others get on so with most of the people sitting down wanting to get off was like being herded like sheep while the “Bus Stop Shuffle” manoeuvres had to take place in order for people to get off, standing passengers fill the newly vacant seat and the rest of the standing fill the gaps while new passengers get on and the cycle continues.
It took 55 minutes for the bus to get to the city from Lane Cove interchange all stops, all bad.
Time arrival at Wynyard – 7:22pm; we are already 22 minutes late for our reservation and we still are 3kms away from our destination.
The other half of the group arrived and had a similar story of the “Bus Stop Shuffle” but between that and 50% of patrons on the bus with blaring MP3 players, backpacks on peoples backs that take up nearly double the space and cause discomfort as they turn and a driver that was fresh off his learners licence we all met up and had to decide our next transport need.
We were at Wynyard and we have 3 choices to get to Harbourside at Darling Harbour;
Walk – this would take about 30 minutes and with rain looming was a risky option
Taxi – we would need 4 taxis and competing with everyone else was not an option
Walk or catch a train to the Monorail Station and get it to Darling Harbour
We decided to walk and it took 25 minutes and we arrived sweaty, frustrated and not in a good mood. By the time we were seated it was 8pm. By the time we were eating it was 8:45pm.
Nearly 3 hours it took using Sydney’s public transport infrastructure.
Lucky the restaurant was fantastic and a good time was had by all until one member of the group asked the question……What are we going to do to get home?
Everyone looked at each other with long faces and we decided to stay in the Darling Harbour after the meal and each make our own way to our own homes. It was because of the public transport system that we didn’t stick to our original plan and it was an absolute disaster catching the public transport system that we all vowed never to do again.
One of the people in the group suggested we should have used a private transport company but I had no idea what to look for online. One member of the group said they would type in to Google the search term bus charter Sydney, one member said bus hire Sydney and another suggested that since we were a small group we should search minibus charter Sydney as chartering a bus we would know comes with a professional driver and not from some rental company that would get their mates to do the driving. So, a minibus charter company or charter bus company with mini buses.
When I got home late that night I went on to the major search engines and had a look and found some companies and looked at their services, most offered a chartered minibus but there were a few rental companies as well that didn’t appeal to me even though they offered drivers. The biggest drawback with the rental companies offering drivers is that the vehicles have been abused by rentals over the years and rarely do they repair them so you’d end up with some beaten up vehicle that’s been to hell & back. So charter bus companies it is.
A few months later we planned another outing with the group from Riverview to a restaurant in Darling Harbour but this time we chartered a mini bus. The vehicle arrived 10 minutes prior to our time and we could see the driver checking the vehicles tyres and general inspection which gave us a good feeling knowing he was being professional. The mini bus was clean and well-presented and it only took 20 minutes to get to the city in the bus lane. We all looked at each other and smiled with approval and the ease and comfort we had for our evening. We were dropped as close as possible to our destination and we complimented the driver and in a great frame of mind we all had a wonderful time. The driver was waiting where he had dropped us off with the air-conditioner on and we rode the mini bus back to our location in 20 minutes. Successful night!
We saved a potential 5 hours of hassle using public transport with discomfort and noise and we rode in a deluxe minibus with a good driver.
Yes, we paid a little extra for the service than using public transport but once the cost was spit up between the group it really wasn’t all that bad and we didn’t have all the issues we did using public transport and the time save was enormous and well worth paying extra for. Private transport is a must for any group and chartering a bus, coach or mini-bus is highly recommended to avoid problems.
We will never use public transport again; private transport charter bus companies in Sydney are 100% the way to go.
Who did we use? I hear you ask……
We went with Sydney Charter Bus Hire
Because they gave us the most relevant information without pressure of making a booking, they had a great website without any misleading information and the price was competitive which included all taxes and tolls. Compared to other companies that gave us a price then said plus GST, plus tolls, plus a bond, plus this and that…..way too much overload of plus.
Sydney Bus Hire lived up to its claim of reliable, punctual, friendly & clean motto and we’ll be using them again for sure and being highly recommended to our work colleagues and friends.
One of the best ways to see Sydney and Bondi is with a 24 hour ticket aboard an open-top double-decker bus. See all the main sights as you hop on and hop off the tour bus at 30 stops around the city. You can spend as much at the main places of interest before jumping aboard for the next stop.
Each ticket is AUD 36 for 24 hours, which means you can almost get two days worth of action out of it.
Also, one of the features is the fact that there is recorded commentary in Spanish, English, French, German, Japanese and Mandarin.
Departure Time: September to March 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday every 30 minutes. Saturday and Sunday every 20 minutes.
April to August
9:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday every 30 minutes. Saturday and Sunday every 20 minutes.
Good way to explore the Blue Mountains! The Blue Mountains Explorer Bus allows you the flexibility to plan your day according to your interests with 30 destinations. Operating on an hourly basis, the full day pass has no restrictions (multiple hop ons & hop offs) so starting from Katoomba, you can plan your day around the waterfalls, lookouts, bushwalks, craft shops, galleries, coffee shops and restaurants, as well as Three Sisters, the Scenic Railway and Skyway.
Departs hourly from 9.30am - 4.30 pm, return at your leisure up to 5.15pm. Closed: Christmas Day.
Price: A$25 (Adults), A$12.50 Child, A$22.00 (Concessions). Rail and Explorer Bus tour tickets can be purchased from Cityrail.
INCLUDES : Unlimited travel for the day, guide booklet with map and details. Discounted tickets for the Scenic Railway and Skyway from the booking office or from the driver. Use your pass to obtain discounts at other major attractions and many restaurants.
I reserved a seat with Sydney Airporter from my YHA hostel for just AUD9, which was cheaper and more convenient than the train, as the shuttle van picked me up right at the hostel entrance.
If I have known about this service before my arrival, I would have stayed near the Rocks instead. No need to stick close to the Central Station.
Sydney has a very good bus system. It is slower than the trains, but it will get you around at a decent price. I still think the trains are much better, but if you go to certain places like Bondi, you will eventually have to get on a bus, so it is good to know a little about them.
Check the website for timetables and fares.
One of the ways you can travel around the city is using the extensive public bus system. It at first may seeming daunting with the varied routes, zones and ticketing options available but I think with enough research and information from people on the bus and street then it can be coped with. Be sure to come up with a clear itinerary so that you can select the best transport option and as much as possible stick to it. Another option is to use the free CBD shuttle or the 555 bus which operates from 9:30 t0 15:30 on weekdays and 9:30 to 18:00 on the weekends. It is also advisable to purchase your tickets prior to boarding the bus as a lot of bus drivers now do not collect fares.
Buses were an easy way to get around Sydney. We frequently caught a bus from Circular Quay, Potts Point, Hyde Park and Bondi Junction. Each bus stop has the route number, time table, destinations and route maps. The buses were clean and ran on time. It was a pleasure to use this form of transportation when we were in Sydney.