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Sydney Buses Maps

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Tallewang » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:01 pm

It seems to me, rather strange and inconvenient that there is no decent map showing bus services in the CBD and immediate surrounding area.

If you seek one, you end up at http://www.sydneybuses.info/region-guides, which has four absolutely gorgeous maps of the SW, NW, NE and SE suburbs, in spectacular detail and colour. On each of these four maps, the CBD area is tiny. There is an inset map of the CBD, which is still tiny, and the PDF file resolution is poor even if you blow it up on a 23 inch screen.

There needs to be a decent map showing the CBD and adjacent areas, which these four beautiful maps fail to do. The bus region system is all very well for management and logistics and tendering, but these are all of interest only to bus industry insiders and not to public transport users. Since the abolition of the previous generation of travelpasses, they don't even have any perceived or actual nexus to ticketing. In fact from a more historical point of view, the region and depot system has served more as an inconvenience for customers due to the inhibitory effect on useful "cross regional" services.

People who are regular bus users, of course know the buses which they catch frequently, or which operate in their neighbourhood and they catch sometimes. The proportion of bus users who would know or use more than a dozen bus routes would be quite limited. The proportion of people who commonly catch buses outside of their local area or regular trips, is also quite small.

From the point of view of metropolitan residents who rarely use public transport, or who mostly use trains, the bus network is complicated, tricky, and obscure compared to the train network. There are hundreds of routes. Nobody except rain man can remember more than a dozen or so bus route numbers, there is no obvious pattern to them, and the same route can have different numbers at different times, and the bus operator sometimes changes the route numbers. Many people will travel long distances on trains, but if there destination is not near a station, they will drive instead. People learn from experience, that catching a bus in an unfamiliar area is likely to be a slow, hazard-prone and also expensive experience.

The CBD region is the most congested region for car traffic. There is a public interest in facilitating public transport usage in areas in or near the CBD. From the perspective of an outer-suburban train user, getting to the CBD itself by train, is easy to figure out. Getting to places which are beyond walking distance from the railway stations ( which may vary from the point of view of different people ), is hard to figure out. It's hard to figure out, even for people like me who previously lived in inner-city suburbs and used to use buses much more extensively.

At the moment, the person seeking to find this information, is confronted with two alternatives. You have these beautiful "region" maps which show all the streets in the inner and middle suburbs which the STA services ( although most of the streets are un-named, which limits the map's usefulness unless you manually correlate it with a street directory ). But these maps have a ridiculous pathetic joke of a 1 square inch inset for the CBD.

Or alternatively, you have http://www.sydneybuses.info/routes, which demands an actual route number. This is neither useful or helpful to people who don't know 724 different route numbers ! And even if you can somehow guess the route number, it doesn't address the issue of what is the best way to get somewhere, and what alternatives there might be.

"Trip-finder" facilities and apps are part of the solution to this. I often find the output of these to be unhelpful, impractical and sub-optimal. But for many purposes, there is no real substitute for a proper map.

I can see no good reason, why a map of the detail and quality and usefulness of those "region" maps, doesn't exist for the CBD and nearby areas. I'd be looking at a coverage from Falcon Street to Newtown and White Bay to Edgecliff, or similar to that. If the non-existence of a such a map arises from some kind of "demarcation dispute" between the regions, well, from the point of view of the user, that is really a not very satisfactory reason.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby mubd » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:16 pm

Eastgardens to Kingsford is a 1-2 section fare.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Tallewang » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:31 pm

Well that is a quite good attempt. Perhaps there needs to be a way of FINDING that map from some point on the website. If there was a link to it, from anywhere, I didn't come across it.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby moa999 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:29 pm

That map is very dated - appears dated 5/11.

eg. 311 services now start at Millers Point
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby boronia » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:17 pm

The other problem with the Region maps is that are operator specific, and do not show where services overlap from adjoining regions.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Bus_fellow » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:29 pm

I wonder how much value would a map like this (or indeed the existing region maps) actually be for the vast majority of passengers? With limited resources, I would be thinking twice about spending time and money on producing these maps, when it could be spent on other forms of information for customers that are going to be of practical use to a wider audience.

However, these kinds of maps are clearly of value to people who hang out on this forum and are interested in that sort of thing. Maybe these kinds of maps should be available as merchandise through the new, but so far rather empty, Transport Shop?
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Gusbus » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:11 pm

boronia wrote:The other problem with the Region maps is that are operator specific, and do not show where services overlap from adjoining regions.

Maybe TfNSW should print a huge map for all of the Sydney metro area to compliment the Region maps...

Melbourne until around 2006 had a huge map showing everything and that complimented their Local Council Area maps which showed more detail, now it's a nightmare just having the LGA maps because who knows (besides locals) what all the council areas are called and where they are :roll:
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Mr OC Benz » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:28 pm

If it was TfNSW responsibility to produce the network maps, they could do so for each region, but showing all the services that pass through that region which may include operators from other regions. It is a pain having to flick between two or three different region guides to look for bus routes on the same roads, because they are operated by different operators from different regions. Network/region maps are definitely an important part of the information that should be available to customers showing the bigger picture of where their buses go and what other buses they may be able to catch in the area. But there needs to be an overall approach to it, rather than only having the care and effort for a particular region, ignoring what other services might be available to customers that pass through coming or going to a different region.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby boxythingy » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:03 am

Maybe their strategy is for little to no easy to access information as a way to deter people from entering the CBD on a bus considering how jammed it is. Not a very effective but simple way to reduce no.s conisdering "no one" reads timetables, maps etc before they use a service. Information=power.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Bodysurfer » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:30 am

I think any CBD bus map created now would have a pretty short shelf-life. There will be massive re-routing of buses when they start working on George St for the light rail. That in itself will most likely prompt publication of a new map indicating the changes.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby lunchbox » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:46 am

I agree entirely with most of the above. Taking an over-view though, I think it's absurd that one cannot make a cross-suburban bus journey, including even just one change of bus, without spending an hour on the internet first!

Bring back PRINTED region maps.

Note that new routes have just been announced for western Sydney. How is a poor, internet-free mother supposed to plan her journey? (Please dont tell me to do the gunzel thing and get a copy of every bus timetable across Sydney!)

TfNSW, are you watching?
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby CityRail » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:13 am

Another way for a better region map is to cooperate with map publishing companies such as Melway to integrate all bus and train services onto their maps.

This will allow a full integration of the Transport network also shows all the transport gaps to allow community demands for buses exist near their homes.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby kypros1992 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:45 am

Once upon a time there use to be a network map which had all the operators and bus routes but that was back in 1998
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby tonyp » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:40 am

Nothing beat the old DGT maps and route diagrams.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Bus_fellow » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:55 pm

CityRail wrote:Another way for a better region map is to cooperate with map publishing companies such as Melway to integrate all bus and train services onto their maps.

This will allow a full integration of the Transport network also shows all the transport gaps to allow community demands for buses exist near their homes.


TfNSW has done this with Google Maps.

EDIT: And any developer who wishes to register to get access to this kind of information through the Transport Data Exchange program.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby hornetfig » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:26 am

^ but not for Real Time data because that's a closely guarded secret stored in a vault with PriceWaterhouse Coopers as the gatekeeper...
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Tallewang » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:38 am

The other problem with the Region maps is that are operator specific, and do not show where services overlap from adjoining regions.


That's true, but my specific concern was about services in the CBD and nearby region, and the relevant region is predominantly served by Sydney Buses services, the main exception being the castle hills services.

The map mentioned in the second post on this thread is pretty good, with a few caveats. It is slightly out of date. It only covers services going outwards from the CBD, useful for a tourist, not so useful for someone coming into the CBD. It leaves out some details, for a specific example, which arose from the question of how to get to Woolloomooloo, it would give you the impression that the bus to the Art Gallery runs on Market St, actually, it runs on Park Street. And it doesn't extend far enough to indicate how to get to places which are a bit too far to walk from the CBD.

And the biggest problem with this map, is that it doesn't seem to be locatable on the website.

I don't know if you could produce a map big enough to show all of the bus routes.

I think that at least there should be a map of the Metrobuses, particularly to show how they link the rail lines together.
Last edited by Tallewang on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Tallewang » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:49 am

boxythingy wrote:Maybe their strategy is for little to no easy to access information as a way to deter people from entering the CBD on a bus considering how jammed it is. Not a very effective but simple way to reduce no.s conisdering "no one" reads timetables, maps etc before they use a service. Information=power.


I don't think the lack of a map deters people from catching a bus to the CBD, if their area is served by buses to the CBD. And buses to the CBD usually have the destination written clearly on the front, assuming you know that Circular Quay, QVB, and whatever other sometimes obscure names they put there, are located in the CBD.

My concern was focused on how poorly the CBD region is covered by the otherwise excellent regional maps. It is very easy to see which bus goes where in Brookvale or Willoughby or Ryde or Croydon Park. On the contrary, it is very hard to figure out how to go to Woolloomooloo or St Vincents Hospital or Forest Lodge or Waterloo, as examples of places that are not on the rail network and not on the obvious main road corridors either.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby lyjjimmy » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:14 pm

For a good start, TfNSW should bring back the Transport Access Guide for major interchanges. They were produced a few years back (with not satisfiying quality), but now all gone with the 131500.info website.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby lunchbox » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Hear hear! One gets to the top of the escalator at Bondi Junction and ..........?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby boxythingy » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:13 pm

Regarding apps, the only useful app I can think of is Triptastic, it locates your current location and lists all available services. However, it's only limited to iOS for now.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Xplorer » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:31 am

lunchbox wrote:Hear hear! One gets to the top of the escalator at Bondi Junction and ..........?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


even before that, which escalator...... :!:
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:50 pm

Bus_fellow wrote:I wonder how much value would a map like this (or indeed the existing region maps) actually be for the vast majority of passengers?
Gusbus wrote:Maybe TfNSW should print a huge map for all of the Sydney metro area to compliment the Region maps...


You mean something useful like this? :mrgreen:
(EG: Newcastle CBD for example, pages 50, 51, Charlestown 52, Raymond Terrace page 56, etc.)
Last edited by Newcastle Flyer on Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby boronia » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:55 pm

I've seen a similar guide produced for the Moree area. I wonder how many more there are like this.
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Re: Sydney Buses Maps

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:58 pm

The Upper Hunter has a similar transport guide (or did have), but mainly timetables of "local transport" buses around Muswellbrook, Werris Creek, and some longer distance routes, mainly community based transport though with some exceptions.
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