Public Transport Sydney

The public transport in Sydney are mainly from various trains, buses and ferries. With them you can get to all parts of the city and sometimes even to the area around the Metroploe. In addition, there are private bus companies, taxis and car rentals with which the sights of the metropolis can be easily visited. Most residents use the car as a means of transport, however, as the urbanized area of ​​the federal capital of New South Wales is very extensive and local transport in the outer suburbs is limited. Nevertheless, the share of users of public transport in Australia-wide comparison is highest in Sydney .

General information

The government agency Transport for NSW is responsible for public transport throughout the state. In Sydney, this includes the Sydney Trains, Metro, Light Rail, buses and ferries. The other means of transport and the taxi companies, however, are privately owned, but are controlled by the state. The most important traffic junction in the city center is the Central Station on Eddy Avenue in Haymarket in the south of the CBD. It serves local, regional and national bus and train traffic.

Tariff systems

On the one hand, there is a local tariff system for Sydney and the immediate vicinity (Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Illawarra), in which the Opal card (see below) can be used. Here the price is calculated on the basis of the distance traveled, the method of payment, the time of day, the means of transport used, membership of certain groups of people ( concessions ) and possible discounts from using the Opal card. On the other hand, Transport for NSW estimates different tariffs for supra-regional trips to destinations further away. In contrast to journeys with urban means of transport, national journeys by buses and trains must be booked in advance.

Tickets & Opal Card

You can use Sydney’s public transport with an Opal card, a contactless payment card (e.g. Visa card), a contactless device (e.g. smartphone) or an Opal single ticket. The Opal single ticket is available from some ticket machines or from some bus drivers outside the city center. However, these tickets are usually more expensive, as only children (4-15 years) and schoolchildren get a reduced rate, you cannot interrupt the journey and there is no return ticket. The easiest way is a contactless payment method, such as the Opal card. The cheapest price is calculated automatically if you hold the card at the relevant stations when entering and exiting the means of transport. In addition, you can change within 60 minutes free of charge, provided you use the same means of transport in the same direction. Regular Opal cards are usually free of charge and are available in certain stores, such as grocery stores or newsagents. However, if you want to use the concessions, you have to apply for them online and provide certain evidence. The Opal card can be topped up with a special app, on the Transport for NSW website, by telephone, at the top-up stations and at shops that sell the card.

Overview of public transport

Trains: Sydney Trains, Metro & Light Rail

The Sydney Trains Institutionis responsible for urban train traffic. They represent one of the most important forms of public transport. In the metropolitan area, the trains travel over 1 million passengers every day in around 20 hours on the over 2,000 km long rail network to more than 300 stations. The area extends to Berowra in the north, Emu Plains in the west, Macarthur in the south and Waterfall in the southwest. The city’s railway system began in 1855, has been electronic since 1926 and has both underground and mostly above-ground routes. The Sydney Trains operate from around 4:00 a.m. to midnight and are replaced by night buses between midnight and 4:00 a.m. In general, they are very punctual, but sometimes quite overloaded during rush hour in the morning.

Most important for tourists is the rail network used by the Sydney Trains called ‘ City Circle ‘ below the CBD. It is sometimes used by up to 7 train lines. It includes Central Station (Paddy’s Market, Chinatown, Surry Hills), Town Hall Station (Queen Victoria Building, Darling Harbor), Wynyard Station (Barangaroo Quarter), Circular Quay Station (Harbor Bridge, Opera House, The Rocks ), St James Station (Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral) and Museum Station (Museum, Hyde Park, William Street, Darlinghurst). From Martin Place Station, on the other hand, trains run to the eastern parts of the city, i.e. to Kings Cross, Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach. NSW TrainLink is responsible for extra-urban and national train traffic (see section ‘Trains’Arrival & onward travel ). This makes many places and regions accessible, such as Newcastle , Wollongong, the Hunter Valley, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains , the Southern Highlands and the South Coast.

The Metro is a modern, driverless express train that operates at short intervals between Tallawong Station and Chatswood Station in the northwest of the city (via Macquarie University). Incidentally, it is Australia’s largest public transport project.

The Light Rail is a modern tram that runs at regular intervals between Central Station and Dulwich Hill. She makes stops at many popular tourist destinations such as Capitol Square, Paddy’s Market, The Star Casino and the large fish market. Line L1 even operates around the clock every day between Central Station and the Star Casino.


Public buses also run almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Sydney’s along the main downtown routes. Most of these buses can only be used with a contactless payment method (e.g. Opal card) to avoid delays. The main bus stations are the central stations Central, Circular Quay, Town Hall and Wynyard. The timetables have been partially adapted to the times of important trains and ferries. The region served can be identified from the line numbers: 100 (Northern Beaches), 200 (North Shore & Northern Districts), 300 (Eastern Suburbs), 400 (Inner West & Southern Suburbs), 500 (Northwest), 600 (West & Hills) District), 700s (Outer West & Hills District), 800s (outer southwest) and 900s (southwest). Some of the bus lines run until after midnight on weekends and the NightRide buses replace the trains at later hours (see above). The red metro buses cover the most important ones in the city center. They operate on over 10 routes every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 to 20 minutes otherwise. In addition, various private bus companies offer city tours.


The state ferries , which are used by residents of the city as well as tourists , also play a decisive role in Sydney’s public transport system. Every day of the week, some of them run until 1 a.m. on a total of 9 routes to numerous destinations on Sydney Harbor and along the Parramatta River. You leave from Circular Quay Ferry Terminal (Alfred Street) in the CBD and sail to Paramatta, Woolwich / Balmain, Darling Harbor / Balmain, Neutral Bay, Mosman, Taronga Zoo, Manly, Eastern Suburbs and Cockatoo Island. There are also numerous private providers who travel to other destinations. Car ferries also commute daily via Berowra Creek, Hawkesbury River and Parramatta River.

On demand service

The so-called ‘On Demand Service’ is only offered in certain areas of the city. You have the option of ordering a vehicle (bus, ferry or bicycle) that picks you up at one location (e.g. at home) and takes you to another location (e.g. shopping center, train station, hospital, etc.). This service can be booked via an app, online or by phone.


Taxis are not only convenient, they also fill the gaps in public transport. The various private companies operate under uniform government regulations. The largest auto taxi companies include Silver Service Cabs (1300 916 996), Premier Cabs (13 10 17), Legion Cabs (13 14 51) or St George Cabs (13 21 66). Furthermore, all taxi companies listed here have larger Maxi Taxis. There are also water taxis in Sydney Harbor and the Parramatta River. The Fantasea Yellow Water Taxis (1300 138 840) and the Water Taxis Combined (02 9555 8888) are two of the best-known providers.

Bicycle & pedestrian paths

An alternative to local transport is the several hundred kilometers long network of footpaths and cycle paths. In the Central Business District alone there are 220 kilometers of such environmentally friendly routes. The city also offers free cycling courses and bicycles can be rented in various shops. With the exception of buses, bicycles are also allowed on Sydney’s public transport.

Public Transport Sydney