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Transport in Sydney

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Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads, freeways and tollways (known as motorways). The most important trunk routes in the urban area form the Metroad system. Sydney is also served by extensive train, bus and ferry networks. Sydney trains are run by CityRail, a corporation of the New South Wales State Government. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the central business district. In the years following the 2000 Olympics, CityRail's performance declined significantly. In 2005, CityRail introduced a revised timetable and employed more drivers. A large infrastructure project, the Clearways project, is scheduled to be completed by 2010. Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, the Metro Light Rail, running from Central Station to Lilyfield along a former goods train line. There is also a small monorail which runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbour. Sydney was formerly served by an extensive tram network, which was progressively closed in the 1950s and 1960s. Most parts of the metropolitan area are served by buses, many of which follow the pre-1961 tram routes. In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly. In the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Construction of a network of rapid bus transitways in areas not previous well served by public transport began in 1999, and the first of these, the Liverpool-Parramatta Rapid Bus Transitway opened in February 2003. Sydney Ferries, another State government-owned organisation, runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.

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      08.12.2009 03:37
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      I dont mind using the bus or ferry

      Everyday I use public transport to get from central manly to my job up the road in another suburb. I have so far found the bus to be on time, clean and it has a good ticket system. Basically you can buy a travel 10 card for certain zones, all you have to do it dip it in the machine at the front of the bus and you dont need to have any cash on you to pay the driver.

      Another mode of transport I use sometimes is the Manly to city ferry. It runs every half hour, unless the weather is bad. I bought a ferry 10 ticket and that gets you there and back 5 times for $48. The ferrys are a bit dated but they do the job and the view is just brilliant everytime you come into sydney and manly. Dont do an expensive harbour cruise just get a manly to city ferry or a city to darling harbour ferry and you get great views.

      Another excellent way to get around because the road systems are busy and driving to the city is just not a good option is walking. There are so many nice walks around the manly area, and when Im in the city I walk everywhere, I never use the bus.

      If you arent fond of walking then there is a free bus that picks you up from circular quay where you get off the ferry, this will take you past hyde park where you can get off to go shopping on george street, or you can go further on to oxford road where the gay area is.

      Theres a monorail running through certain parts of the city but I think its an eyesore and I never use it as its very expensive.

      I would recommend the ferries for a good view, and the free bus if your feet are tired with all the sight seeing.

      People say that public transport in sydney isnt the best, but in my experience so far its quite easy using the ferries and buses.

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        16.02.2002 02:37
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        I was in Sydney in 1989/1990 and then for the Olympic games in 2000. Transport in Sydney hadn't come far I'm afraid. Trains: The eastern Suburbs are served by one line with only two stations (Edgecliffe and Bondi Junction). The districts of Paddington, Darlinghurst, Bondi, Rose Bay and a whole host of areas such as Randwick (pop: 100,000) still have no railway line, despite the fact that the line was supposed to have been extended to the airport via the eastern suburbs and also to Bondi, either by Rose Bay or Tammarama. The North Shore still only has one line. Ok the topography is difficult, but there is such a thing called light rail. In fact the only real development in rail has been a short extension to the Olympic Stadium and an extension (admittedly on a disused railway) to the airport. That's been it in ten years. Trams: Light rail trams were proposed for City Centre-Bondi via Oxford Road to serve Paddington, Surry Hills etc. Again, no movement. The North Shore was to see trams going to Manley. No go there either. Buses: There seemed to have been no improvement or a worsening of the situation. Buses still good however, especially the infamous 380 along Oxford Street to Bondi where you either see someone you know or you meet someone you will know! Ferries: Thanks to lyn, I made a farily big omission. Sydeny has the best ferry system I have seen. Lynn is right, it's an aquatic bus station. Nothing beats the Manley ferry on the way back from Manley. Stand at thr front and hold on at The Heads, and get soaked through! Cars: Why is it that there was been a huge building projects in freeways and motorways? The project to drive a motorway under Taylor Square must has cost a fortune and swallowed a whole strip of parkland. Freeways in the north of Sydney and the West and South West of the city. It seems that when it comes to the motor car, the money's ava
        ilable. When we need trains, trams and buses, it's not. Australia is governed still by an Anglo-Saxon political class, largely unrepresentative of Australia as a whole. Anglo-Saxon cultures are averse to spending money on public transport projects.

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          16.02.2002 01:35
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          On the summer of 2001 I found myself walking across Sydney Harobur Bridge whilst being on a choir tour. Although my time was restricted and I was only there a few days I feel I really got to know and like the city. So, in answer to my title; yes, it is as good as it's cracked up to be. One of the things that amazed me however was the numerous ways of travel in the city. In fact, my favourite was walking. I had the whole of Sydney to chose from and one of my favourite things was walking in it. However, this review is on the travel of Sydney so I will try not just to talk about walking. I will start with the monorail. Firstly to my knowledge it is the only city in the world that has its own monorail that goes round the whole city. However to my great sadness I learnt that they will soon be closing it down because it simply does not get used enough. So before that, in their efforts to keep it up and running they had to raise the prices which is why I felt I had to put it as a disadvantage. However; the monorail is clean, well seated, comfortable and it has very useful adverts, if you are a tourist in the city, on the side of the trains. They advertise such things as Wonderland, supposedly the best theme park in Australia! Next I come on to the train system. A very efficient and useful source of travelling. It i s quite similar to the monorail but not quite as interesting. But; compared to London's underground I would pay five times as much to travel on Australia's than London's! The next source of travelling I am going to mention is something very few people would experience. It is using a spedboat in Sydney Harbour to go from under the Harbour Bridge to the other side of the Opera House. I myself was not fortunate to travel on it but saw it from a certain point of view! More will be explained. The bus system appears very much like England's except cleaner, and it is always on time! Lastly my favourite form of transport. Walk
          ing. I am not a great fan of walking, in fact whenever I go on holiday and my parents suggest a walk I am always the first to moan! But walking in Sydney is something I would love to experience again, but sadly I probably will not. I walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge which was a fantastic experience. I saw Sydney froma bird's eye view. This was where I saw people travelling in speedboats in the Harbour. The views are spectacular and you can actually feel the Bridge vibrating under the weight of the cars and trains. Walking in the city centre is also good fun. I had never seen so many people jay-walking in my life; and the atmosphere of the city is tremendous. Because of all the travelling I did in Sydney I enjoyed my stay there. I made my time there wonderful. London should take a good look at it's train and bus systems!

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            05.08.2001 21:22
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            I managed to find myself on the streets of Sydney last year, after accepting an invitation to join the lady I had just started dating, on her trip to meet up with some overseas web-friends. The lady in question some of you will know has "epiphany" or Kathryn. We had decided to leave excursions and travel arrangements until we arrived in Australia, this turned out quite well, has we only missed out on our airport transfer when we arrived. We did arrange an excursion when we arrived but I'll make that a separate opinion at a later date, this opinion will just cover the transport in general. ~~~SYDNEY PASS~~ We spent the first day walking around the city, and realised that there was a need to use the bus and ferry system to get around, although the city centre isn't massive, we did discover the last thing we wanted to do after a day away sight seeing or on a shopping trip was walk back to our accommodation. We therefore made it a priority to find out more about the Sydney pass we'd seen advertised in brochures before we left the UK. Trying to buy one on a bus trip into the city proved fruitless, as there are only a few select outlets where you can purchase your pass (see where to buy your pass below). We purchased ours from the transport "Info kiosk" on Circular Quay. ~~WHAT YOU GET FOR YOUR DOSH~~ The pass gives you unlimited travel on all the regular buses, Sydney ferries and central rail services, for the duration of the tickets life. It will also give you a return airport express transfer and unlimited travel on the two special explorer buses. **Return Airport Express Transfer** The airport express is the only frequently scheduled bus service running to and from Sydney Airport. It will drop you off at the Central Railway Station, Kings Cross, Circular Quay, The Central Business District (CBD), The Rocks or The Domestic Airport Terminal. The bus is easy to ident
            ify from its bright yellow and green exterior. It operates seven days a week from 5am until 11pm leaving every 10 minutes. Although this isn't much good if you arrive in Sydney during the early hours of the morning. We missed out on the benefit of using the airport express for our initial journey but found later that we could use it for our transfer to the airport for our week in Darwin and later to return to the airport for our flight home. Next time we go I expect we will try and purchase our passes before we leave so we can make full use of this service. **Sydney Explorer** This big red bus will take you to all the major attractions in and around the city. The on board commentary describing the history and culture around each stop introduces you to some interesting facts that you can then explore for yourself. We spent the whole of one morning doing the entire circular tour, getting on and off the bus to get a better look at sights that most interested us. We only had to wait about 20 minutes between buses and that was more than enough time to take in the sights. The buses depart from Circular Quay from 8.40am, approximately every 17 minutes and the last round trip is at 5.25pm. This tour is an ideal way to experience a trip across the Harbour Bridge and visit the historic areas such as Mrs Macquaries Chair and the Opera House. If you spend the entire day jumping on and off the buses you can go home knowing you have seen at least 80% of the places worth visiting within the city. **Bondi and Bay Explorer** This time you board a blue bus and travel to the many bays around Sydney Harbour stopping off at Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee Beaches as well as the world famous Bondi Beach. Again there is on board commentary as you travel around the 30km circuit and again you can jump on and off the bus when and where you feel like it. The buses depart from Circular Quay from 9.15am, approximately ever
            y 30 minutes and the last round trip is at 4.20pm. You might like to copy us and take a container (we used a spare camera film tub), to take home a bit of Bondi. **Regular Buses** You can travel anywhere, getting on and off each bus as much as you like all day long. The regular buses generally run 24 hours a day although the frequency and number of destinations change at night from 11pm until 5am. **Regular Trains** We didn't actually use the train service in Sydney so I won't make any solid comment here other than to say that the pass will give you unlimited travel to anywhere within Sydney and district. Apparently you can also use the pass on all the underground routes too. **The Ferries** The ferries make visiting places such as Darling Harbour, Watson bay or Manly, a lot quicker than travelling over land. It also gives you a chance to see some of Sydney's beautiful bays and the entrance into the world famous harbour. Again you get unlimited travel on all the ferries, and there are also a few special cruises available. Travel on any or all four of the special cruises, if you want to see as much as possible from the water. There are two morning harbour cruises, both one-hour long, which is great if you have limited time. For those with more time there is a two and a half hour trip, which takes in much more of the harbour available in the afternoon. Finally in the evening you can board the harbour lights cruise which shows Sydney in full evening finery. Seeing the city lit up from the water is breath taking. From a distance the colours constantly change as the reflections in the water ripple with the motion of the sea. The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are illuminated with floodlights to give these famous landmarks a very different look. All the cruises include on board commentary telling you about the history and the character of the city and any special features you might oth
            erwise miss as you pass through the bays. **Manly and Parramatta** If you want to visit Manly, another of Sydney's famous beaches, you can either take a leisurely half hour cruise on the Manly Ferry or a fifteen-minute trip on the high-speed JetCat. Kathryn spent the final few days of her holiday with friends in Manly, so I might get instructed to add more here soon :o) Parramatta is the waterway gate to Homebush, the main site of the 2000 Olympics. The trip is aboard one of two RiverCat boats, which cruise along at high-speed. We travelled from Parramatta back to Sydney on the RiverCat after touring the Blue Mountains and Homebush Olympic sites, which was a great way to end the day. ~~WHERE CAN I BUY MY PASS?~~ The main place to buy your pass is at one of the four transport "Info kiosks" at Circular Quay (Loftus Street), The Queen Victoria Building (York Street), Wynyard Park (Carrington Street) and The Wharf in Manly. You can also purchase your ticket from the airport ground staff at the international and domestic terminals, or on board one of the explorer buses, and also any of the CityRail train stations. There are some shops that sell the tickets, just look for a big green "Sydney Pass Sold Here" sign. ~~HOW MUCH DOES THE PASS COST~~ You can purchase a ticket to last for three, five or seven days. The price at the time of writing for an adult ticket is $85, $115 and $135 respectively. The ticket price's change every six months due to tax changes so it's worth checking the prices at the transport website; http://www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au/, the site includes information and timetables for all the tours and up to the minute details of new tours, that are available. If you're only spending a day in Sydney, tickets can be purchased to cover individual components of the pass, such as one of the explorer services or the harbour cruises. ~~CONCLUSION~~ We found the Sydney pass to be good value for money and a great way to explorer the city. Has I mentioned above, each of the explorer routes and the harbour cruises include on board commentary, if you're hard of hear like I am, then you may have difficulty hearing what is being said, especially on the ferries. I was fortunate to have Kathryn giving me feed back, so try and go with someone who can hear for you, or grab some of the information leaflets that are available at the ticket offices. ~~CONTACTS~~ Website: http://www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au/ Email: feedback@131500.com.au Telephone: In Australia only 131 500 So you want to write them a nice letter? OK! Address: Sydney Buses, Level 28, 100 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 Thanks for reading... ~~K~~

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              17.11.2000 23:28

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              There seems to be something consistent about public transport in general, and bus services in particular. Very similar to my experiences here in the U.K. Sydney has the same problems. Bus services are brilliant as long as you just travel around the city centre but become some kind of lottery as soon as you want to get to and from the slightly more outlying suburbs. I lived in Sydney for about two years and first had a flat in Balmain. Now the actual bus ride from there into the city is about 20 mins. and according to the timetables there are rather frequent buses. But one will almost daily experience that you'll have to wait for up to 45 mins. for the next bus and then there are suddenly three or four turning up at once. This seems to be a problem with most suburbs in this city, since I had the same troubles in Drummoyne, Glebe and other places, which are all only a short busride outside the city centre. So, if you're in a hurry - get a taxi. But then again - see taxi services.

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