I have been interested in bus services one way or another all my life. My first bus trips were when I went to a pre-school in East Roseville at age 3. I travelled there and back in Royle Brothers’ Route 56 buses, which then primarily ran from Chatswood to either Babbage Road or Penshurst Street. My mother said I learned to read from the destination signs on those buses.
When I was 5, we moved to the western side of Roseville and I went to primary school on AJ (Jack) Wagg’s Route 221, part of which ran between Roseville and Lindfield. Since then, that route has changed numbers three times and has been run by at least nine different operators (thus exemplifying the organisational and managerial volatility of many private bus routes in Sydney over the years).
I travelled on a lot of private bus routes back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s to identify their routes, as private bus timetables before 1980 rarely had route maps or even listed the streets along which they ran. That led to drawing my own route maps, by tracing them from sheet maps of the Sydney metropolitan area. It also means that I have seen a lot of the Sydney and its surrounds from the windows of private buses.
My working life began at the AMP Society, where I was employed for over two decades. In 1990, however, I entered the bus industry in the late Roger Graham’s consultancy, where I was able to put my bus route and timetable knowledge to use in setting up the original contract areas and assessing minimum service levels under the Passenger Transport Act, as originally enacted. I later moved to Busways’ head office. After retiring from full-time work, I trained as a bus driver with Forest Coach Lines, where I did not last long, but soon after took up a semi-retirement job driving minibuses with Lower North Shore Community Transport.
I now live in the Forest area, where the local operator is Forest Coach Lines (even though no longer owned by the Royle family), but creating a link of sorts with my first trips in their buses through East Roseville in the 1940s.
Assistance sought to make the lists more accurate
This website is very much a “work in progress”. The amount of information available to me varies from route to route, especially before the 1960s. I hope it can be improved and refined over time. So I will be very grateful to receive further information, great or small, which can make these lists more accurate.