What's your relationship with buses? Are you a mum who swears by public transport as the best way to get around with your kids, or do you avoid them like the plague? Or, have you been a serial commuter all your working life, spending hours a day catching the bus into town, tied to the never-ending rat race?
A shiny new B-Line bus - photo c/o- transport.nsw.gov.au
I feel like I could tick 'all of the above' but have to admit that once I stopped the long commute for work, I started catching the occasional bus for fun. For my son, the bus to the city is an adventure in itself, and it's very cool to see a bus or a train ride through a child's eyes, without all the adult cynicism about over-crowding and late running timetables.
Now, there is even more reason than ever to catch the bus for a no-hassles day-trip with your kids, with the new and efficient B-Line Bus Service between the Northern Beaches and the city (Wynyard).
The upper deck is a great way to enjoy the bus ride with kids
Exit the clanky and hair-raising bendy buses that wove their way up the treacherous hill from The Spit to Mosman. Enter the new and streamlined double decker buses that feel smooth and stable. The upgrade reminds me of when they got rid of the old Red Rattler trains and brought in the sleek, air conditioned Tangara trains. I'm showing my age with that reference but I'm excited by this public transport upgrade. It is long overdue for the connectivity-challenged beaches, north of the bridge.
Today, my son and I took our first adventure on the B-Line bus, from the busy Warringah Mall stop to Wynyard. We rode up top, of course. The view was great and without the cook's tour through Balgowlah, we had a comfortable and fast-moving adventure, kept well-informed by 'Next Stop' announcements over the PA system. For those who don't travel the bus frequently, or know the city well, this guiding voice could mean all the difference between getting off at the right and the wrong stop.
I won't deny that the new bus service has come under criticism for its avoidance of traditional suburban bus routes. However, as a dedicated Park and Ride service, like those you'd find in the UK, it does it's job and enables large numbers of people to catch a fast and regular service from key stops on Pittwater and Military Roads, across the Harbour Bridge.
On-board screens keep you up to date with the journey's progress
What You Need to Know About the B-Line:
It runs from 4.30am to 12.30am daily
Services run every 5mins in peak hour and regularly in non-peak
There are up to 900 new B-Line park and ride car spaces and 120 new bike parking facilities, to get you closer to the main stops
B-Line bus stops have had a face lift with new seating and clean, sheltered areas for waiting
In-seat USB chargers
Real - time service info (arrival times) on electronic sreens at the B-Line bus stops and on-board
Opal Card (tap on / tap off) system applies for fare info, e.g. just under $5 for a single adult fare from Warringah Mall to Wynyard
Kids under 4 years of age travel FREE
B-Line is streamlining public transport travel in Sydney's north - image c/o- transport.nsw.gov.au