History

History of Punchbowl buses

The origins of the present day Punchbowl Bus Company commenced in 1952 with the purchase of Narwee Bus Service, followed by the purchase of G P Bus Company in 1955 and then the purchase of Punchbowl Bus Company in 1958.

Narwee Bus Company operated from the Hannans Road depot, Punchbowl Bus Company's home today. Punchbowl Bus Company was then located on the corner of Canterbury and Belmore Rd at Punchbowl.

The old depot at the corner of Canterbury Rd and Belmore Rd, Punchbowl has been used for a number of purposes since then including, at one time, being a Norman Ross store.

When Roselands Shopping Centre was opened routes 28,33,36 and 188 were diverted to operate via the new shopping centre. Routes 36 and 188 were diverted from Punchbowl to Mortdale.

Subsequently routes 4 and 28 were combined as route 244 that operated between Bankstown and Hurstville via Chullora, Greenacre, Punchbowl and Roselands to give residents in the Greenacre/Chullora area direct access to Roselands.

Later when Punchbowl Bus Company took over route 37 this route was integrated with route 33 to operate between Bankstown and Hurstville via Punchbowl and Roselands.

During the late 1960s route 189 was extended from Punchbowl to Roselands, Riverwood and Lugarno, replacing route 140 which initially operated between Riverwood and Lugarno.

Early in 1992, Punchbowl Bus Company route 188 was amended to operate between Bankstown and Mortdale instead of Punchbowl and Mortdale. This covered the section of route 26 between Bankstown and Moxon Rd, Punchbowl, except that route 188 terminated at on the northern side of the railway line at Bankstown, as do all other Punchbowl Bus Company services to Bankstown. Also route 188 no longer diverts via Roselands.

At the same time route 36, the remaining route between Punchbowl and Mortdale, was altered to travel along some route 26 roads at the Punchbowl end. Route 36 now departs from the Arthur St stand previously used by route 26.

The old State Transport co-ordination Act that governed local route bus services was replaced by a new Act known as the Passenger Transport Act in July 1990. As a consequence, the Punchbowl Bus Company was required to enter into a commercial contract with the Government (Dept of Transport) for all of its bus services.

New route numbers were introduced in August 1997 that incorporated minor route changes and new networking in compliance with the Company's commercial contracts. These are summarised as follows:

  • Route 940 replaced routes 33 and 29
  • Route 941 replaced route 244
  • Route 942 replaced route 189
  • Route 943 replaced route 108 and 29
  • Route 944 replaced routes 36 and 29
  • Route 945 replaced route 188

In April 1998, Punchbowl Bus Company purchased route 450 (Hurstville to Strathfield) and route 451 (Roselands to Campsie). This purchase meant that Punchbowl Bus Company now operated all the routes previously operated by Red Top Transport in the Hurstville area.

Parts of route 947 operated by H.T Saint of Peakhurst was purchased by Punchbowl Bus Company in December 1998. Punchbowl Bus Company then joined the Hurstville to Beverly Hills section to route 451 making a direct service from Hurstville to Campsie. The remainder of route 947 was operated by Southtrans to Ramsgate.

On 22 December 2004, Punchbowl Bus Company took over route 953 Hurstville to Kyle Bay and Connells Point from Harris Park Transport and route 954 Hurstville to Hurstville Grove and Oatley from Moores Tours.

On 1 July 2005, Punchbowl Bus Company took over route 446 Roselands to Kogarah and route 447 Greenacre to Belmore from Pleasure Tours.

On March 22, 2010 Punchbowl Bus Company implemented a network review as part of the integrated transport network planning process. This was done in order to provide more frequent and direct services. As a result, the 447 and 451 routes were discontinued and many of the existing routes were modified. Several new routes were established including the 939, the 946, the 955 and the S14 Shopper Hopper service.

Coach Hire

Punchbowl Bus Company introduced luxury coaches to the area in 1967, a Leyland leopard with Coachmaster bodywork and jet air ventilation. Punchbowl coaches purchased Mercedes Benz 0302 coaches in 1972 setting a high standard of comfort and safety. Australian-built Denning coaches were ordered in 1980 followed by Punchbowl Bus Company ordering the world's first Leyland Tiger three axle coach in 1984.

Punchbowl Coach updated their Denning coaches to Mercedes 0303 three axle coaches in 1986. These were fully refurbished in 1995 and are the mainstay of the coach operation. 1995 saw the introduction of a MAN 22.360 coach with five star features to the Punchbowl Coach fleet.

Bus Developments

Punchbowl Bus Company operated mainly Leyland and AEC Buses with Coachmaster, Comeng and Patgay bodies. Earlier buses had included Foden double deckers and various English chassis. In 1990, with the imminent demise of the traditional Leyland chassis supply, Punchbowl evaluated two lower step chassis, the Scania K93 and an MCA citybus. Four Scania's were finally ordered. Subsequent buses supplied have included Hino RG 197 and MAN 14.230 vehicles. However, the mainstay of the modern fleet has standardised to Scania L113 and L94UB Euro 3 low floor step less entry buses to assist passenger entry and comfort.

Satisfying community demand Punchbowl has replaced high floor Leyland buses with low floor Scania buses with modern Custom Coach CB60 body offering wheel chair accessible buses to the area.

Pressed Metal (PMC) bodies had been the main supplier of bus bodies since 1960 and have produced over 70 bodies for Punchbowl Bus Company since that time until the company stopped operations in 1997. Later, PMC bodies were supplied from Adelaide.

Alternative liveries were trialled before standardising to the current layout which incorporates the various body styles.

The current Punchbowl Bus Company fleet consists of Euro 5 Volvo B7Rs; Scania K230UBs, L94UBs, L113CRLs and K93s; Hino RG197s and MAN 14.230s and 10.155s.