16 Regional Cities Services Improvement Program

Reviewed

Project overview

The NSW Government is rolling out the 16 Regional Cities Services Improvement Program as part of our commitment to improving bus services throughout regional NSW.

What is the 16 Regional Cities Services Improvement Program? 

The program aims to provide improvements to regional bus services, including providing better connections to where customers need to go for:  

  • work 
  • education
  • health and  
  • social and recreational activities.  

The animation below will give you an overview of the program:

What will be the key benefits of the program to the regional cities? 

The graphic below explains the current status of each of the cities.


Detailed planning/information gathering: 

During the planning phase of detailed-network bus reviews, we: 

  • seek feedback from the community, stakeholders and customers, giving everyone a chance to have their say 
  • identify (based on that feedback) travel needs to develop and deliver integrated transport service plans

More information

What are the objectives of the program?  

The NSW Government is building a simpler and more efficient public transport network, that considers the needs of local communities.

We are working with communities to improve bus services to the benefit of residents and businesses. This includes providing or planning for additional services and better connections between different public transport modes. 

How will the bus service changes be implemented? 

The intention of the 16 Cities program is to plan bus services that meet the needs of each of the regional communities.

By 2020, we had introduced some targeted early service improvements to the existing bus network in 16 regional cities in NSW:

Albury Greater Nowra 
Armidale Orange 
Bathurst Parkes 
Coffs Harbour Port Macquarie 
Dubbo Queanbeyan 
Grafton Tamworth 
Griffith Tweed Heads 
Lismore Wagga Wagga
What’s been delivered so far? 

Across the 16 cities, more than 3000 additional weekly services have already been introduced since 2019, an increase of more than 30 per cent to the existing bus networks within these 16 cities.

  • In December 2019, the Tweed bus network benefited from the addition of more than 450 weekly services.  
  • In March 2020, Wagga Wagga received a boost to its bus services with a new timetable delivering more than 240 extra bus services a week.  
  • In June 2021, more than 500 additional weekly services were introduced to the Bathurst bus network via the program.  
  • In August 2022, more than 250 weekly services were delivered to the Greater Nowra bus network, with more direct routes to Bomaderry Station.
  • In September 2022, Orange received more than 200 additional services, including more weekend services with longer operating hours.
  • In January 2023, Albury received more than 300 extra weekly services, including better connections between Thurgoona, Lavington, Albury and Wodonga.
  • In January 2023, Queanbeyan received more than 90 additional services, including improved connections to services to TAFE, train station and airport.
  • In January 2023, Lismore received 100 additional services, including services between Lismore and Ballina and a new Sunday B-ConX On Demand service.

Planning is progressing for the other regional cities.

Will bus trips cost the same? 

Bus fares in regional cities are not expected to change because of these service improvements. More information about regional bus fares is available at​​​​​ transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/regional-tickets-fares/regional-buses-fares

When will these cities get Opal? 

Transport for NSW is currently working to provide rural and regional customers in some of the 16 Cities Program locations with the ability to pay for their fare using an accepted debit or credit card or a linked device.

We are also investigating the use of contactless payment solutions for rural and regional areas.

Information about Opal and Opal updates is available at transportnsw.info/opal

How can I get additional information?

 
For Transport information and to plan your trip, visit: https://transportnsw.info/ 

What if my town or village falls outside the current scope for consideration as part of the 16 Cities Program?

The 16 Cities Program is focusing on the bus network within Regional cities. Transport for NSW will continue to develop strategies and plans to enhance services which connect rural and regional centres, towns and villages.

ALBURY

Community consultation took place in Albury during March 2022. Using this valuable input, our teams were able to prioritise the needs of the local community, and then work with Albury City Council and the bus operators to formulate a services plan.

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving the bus services in Albury in the near future.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus operators 
Dyson Group
Martin’s Albury

ARMIDALE

In September and October of 2022, Transport for NSW consulted with the broader Armidale and Uralla communities. The project is still in the information gathering phase. Our teams will be working with Armidale Council and Edwards Coaches to prioritise the needs of the local community and then develop a services plan.

We will provide you with an update on the project after the State Government Election taking place in March 2023.  

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus Operator
Edwards Coaches

BATHURST

Bathurst now has more than 500 new additional weekly bus services as part of bus network improvements introduced on 28 June 2021.

There are more peak and weekend services, new express services, and longer operating hours to connect customers to where they need to go. 
For the first time, services now run on Sundays.

The new bus network includes better connections with Bathurst CBD, train station and coach stop, Charles Sturt University, TAFE and the hospital.

Growing suburbs including Eglinton, Laffing Waters, Kelso, Windradyne and Llanarth have also received improved services.

Visit: https://transportnsw.info/news/2021/better-bus-services-for-bathurst

Bus operators
Newmans Fuels and Buses
Bathurst - Buslines Group

COFFS HARBOUR

Community consultation took place in Coffs Harbour during September 2021. Using this valuable input, the service plan has been developed in consultation with Council and the bus operators and is in the final stages of endorsement. Transport for New South Wales is working with local bus operators to test the network. Service improvements are set to go live in in the middle of 2023.

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving the bus services in Coffs Harbour in the near future.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: https://transportnsw.info/news/2020/bus-improvements-for-coffs-harbour-lismore

Bus Operators
Busways
Forest Coach Lines

DUBBO

Community consultation for the 16 Regional Cities Program took place in Dubbo in March and April 2022. Over 100 submissions were received.

Using this valuable input, our teams are working with Dubbo Regional Council and bus operators to prioritise the needs of the local community and formulate a services plan.

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving  bus services in Dubbo in 2023.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus Operators
Buslines Group

GRAFTON

Community consultation took place in Grafton during March 2021. 

Using this valuable input, we are now seeking endorsement for the services plan.  

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au 

Bus operators
Busways
Lawrence Bus Service

GREATER NOWRA

Community consultation for the 16 Regional Cities Program took place in Greater Nowra, in January and February 2021. The feedback we received from the community informed the new service plan, which was developed in consultation with the bus operators. 

On 29 August 2022, over 250 new services were introduced to the Greater Nowra region. With faster more direct trips, better connections to Bomaderry station, better trips to work, TAFE, hospital and new weekend services.

Bus operators
Nowra Coaches
Shoal Bus 
Kennedys Tours 
Stuarts Coaches

GRIFFITH

Community consultation for the 16 Regional Cities Program took place in Griffith in March and April 2021. The feedback received during the consultation period enabled our teams to prioritise the needs of the local community to identify the gaps in the existing network and timetables. A service plan is currently being developed in consultation with Griffith City Council and the bus operator, Griffith Buslines. 

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving bus services in Griffith in 2023.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus operator
Buslines Group

LISMORE

Community consultation took place in Lismore during December 2021 and then again in October 2022 due to flooding. Using this valuable input, our teams worked with Lismore City Council and Lismore Buslines to prioritise the needs of the local community and have formulated a services plan. 

Timetables have been adjusted to make them easier for customers to recall.  Extra route services have been added with extended weekend hours on the On Demand B CONX Service.

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving bus services in Lismore on Monday 16 January 2023.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: https://transportnsw.info/news/2020/bus-improvements-for-coffs-harbour-lismore

Bus operator
Northern Rivers - Buslines Group

ORANGE

On 12 September 2022, over 200 additional services were introduced in Orange. There are more buses more often, new and more direct routes, and services earlier in the day and later at night and new services on Sundays, to connect you more reliably where you need to go.

This includes new bi-directional services in Bowen, Glenroi and Warrendine, more direct services to Orange Station and Orange Hospital, as well as a high-frequency north-south corridor connecting north Orange with the CBD, Orange Station and Orange Hospital.

With better services to get to work, university, TAFE, shopping, hospital, to visit friends and family, or to socialise in town, getting around Orange has gotten a lot easier.

Bus operators
Buslines Group
Newmans Fuels and Buses

PARKES

Community consultation and detailed planning is underway in Parkes. However, due to the recent flood events in the Central West the consultation for 16 Cities in Parkes has been put on hold until early 2023.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

PORT MACQUARIE

During June and July 2022, Transport for NSW consulted with the community in Port Macquarie. Over 700 submissions were received in relation to potential service improvements. The project is in the information gathering phase. Feedback is being sought at Bearlay’s Funday on Wednesday 25 January 2023.

Using this valuable input, our teams will be working with Port Macquarie Hastings Council and Busways to prioritise the needs of the local community and formulate a services plan. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus operator
Busways

QUEANBEYAN

Community consultation took place in Queanbeyan during November 2021. Using the consultation outcomes, our teams gained a clear understanding of the community’s transport needs, and worked with Queanbeyan Palerang Council and bus operator CDC Canberra to formulate a new services plan.

The 16 Cities team is looking forward to improving bus services in Queanbeyan in the near future.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au

Bus operator
CDC NSW 

TAMWORTH

The project is in the information gathering phase. Community consultation took place in Tamworth during August 2022.  

Using this valuable input, our teams will be working with Tamworth Regional Council, Tamworth Buslines and Hannaford Coaches to gather further insights and then prioritise the needs of the local community to formulate a services plan.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact our program team:
Call: 1800 717 528
Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Visit: transport.nsw.gov.au 

Bus Operator
Buslines Group

TWEED HEADS

In December 2019 more than 450 additional weekly services were introduced to Tweed Heads’ bus network, which includes 160 extra weekly services before 7am and after 6pm and 50 new weekly services before 5am and after 9pm.

Every route in Tweed Heads has a direct or timetable connecting service to The Tweed Hospital, Tweed Mall and the Queensland border. 
Services to the hospital have been improved with regular services between 5am and 11pm weekdays, with buses every 15 minutes during most parts of the day. Kingscliff TAFE is easier to access with the 601 doubling in frequency and the new 609 route from Murwillumbah.

Bus operator
Surfside Buslines

WAGGA WAGGA

In March 2020 more than 240 extra weekly services were introduced across the Wagga Wagga bus network. The network has been refined across Wagga to improve timetabled connections and provide better bus coverage.

Bus services now travel to new areas such as Lloyd and Botanical Gardens at Macleay Street which previously didn’t have bus services. New afternoon and evening services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday operate until 9pm. We’ve also introduced new Sunday services for all routes.

Travel time has been reduced for services operating to Charles Sturt University from Lake Albert, Bourkelands and Glenfield Park. Generally, customers will save between 15 to 39 minutes on routes to Charles Sturt University.

Bus operator
Busabout Wagga 

Get in touch

Email: regionalcitiesprogram@transport.nsw.gov.au
Phone: 1800 717 528