Best Christmas bus chosen for 14th year running

State Transit's bus drivers & mechanics get into the Christmas spirit and decorate buses for the Annual Christmas Bus Competition.

The State Transit tradition is now in its 14th year and this festive season has proved to the best yet with all eight depots – Waverley, Port Botany, Randwick, Ryde, Willoughby, North Sydney, Brookvale and Mona Vale – covering buses inside and out with shimmering tinsel and baubles and taking them out on the road for customers to enjoy.

Since 2011, a patient from Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick has been the official judge of the best bus. This year, five-year-old Kai was in charge and chose North Sydney as the winning bus at the judging event at Clovelly Beach today.

State Transit’s CEO Steffen Faurby said it was a particularly close competition this year with Ryde as the runner up.

“I’m glad Kai was in charge – I was only the second umpire – because it was a tough call this year!”

“I chose North Sydney Depot’s Christmas bus because it had great decorations with lots of tinsel and baubles,” Kai said.

Steffen added that the joyful event was popular with staff and the travelling public alike. “It’s a wonderful public transport tradition that puts a smile on the faces of our passengers – adults and children – when they board one of the Christmas buses,” Steffen said.

“Likewise in the depots. Drivers vie for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their depot’s Christmas bus for a shift and we never have a shortage of staff to help decorate the buses.

“For the second year in a row, we have enlisted the help of special elves from local primary schools who bring a magical touch to the event. Not only do they assist with the decorations, but use their art and craft skills to draw and colour-in posters to put inside the buses.”

This year, students from five state schools assisted by sprucing up the buses with Christmas cheer: Manly West Public (Brookvale); La Perouse Public (Port Botany); Boronia Park Public (Ryde); Neutral Bay Public (North Sydney) and Maroubra Junction Public (Waverley).

The buses will be running local routes on Sydney’s roads until December 31 so passengers are urged to keep an eye out for them. Christmas buses can be tracked via real-time transport apps Tripview, NextThere and AnyTrip (look for the Christmas emoji).