Transport for New South Wales wants to improve bus services between the northern beaches and the CBD.
The plan was originally called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) but is now the B-line. It runs special double-deck buses from Mona Vale across the Spit Bridge and across the Harbour Bridge.
The extraordinary thing about B-line is its cost. There are to be 38 new vehicles costing about $650000 each which totals about $25 million. There are to be minor changes to bus stops and kerbs at many places and there is to be lopping and/or removal of a number of trees. There are to be 250 parking spaces provided at Warriewood, 250 at Brookvale, 150 at Manly Vale and 120 at Dee Why. A former cinema building at Spit Junction has been demolished and some of its frontage is to become a bus stop. Nothing in all that begins to explain the half-billion dollar ($516 million) total cost of the project.
B-line services will not stop at North Sydney. Public transport routes should of course serve major centres like North Sydney rather than bypass them. However many trees in Miller St would need ugly pruning to pass the double-deck B-line buses.
Transport for NSW should find a way to serve North Sydney, perhaps by building inbound and outbound B-line stops on the Warringah Freeway near the Mount St underpass. Walking between the stops and Victoria Cross should be made simple, legible, quick, easy and under cover.
The NSW Opposition has alleged that B-line will barely increase public transport capacity in the Northern Beaches area and therefore isn't worthwhile. Some existing services will be removed, making the nett capacity change difficult to determine. Learn more...
The new service commenced on 26th November however only some of the 38 new buses have been delivered so far. Presumably a mixture of new and old buses will start the service to Mona Vale. There is to be an extension to Newport later.