If you have been reading My Darling Darlinghurst for a while, you may know about my passion for the 311 Bus; that wonder on wheels that glides through the suburb like a phantom. Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't, sometimes you can hail it, but most of the time it never appears and you are left wondering if the 311 ever existed at all.
But while I love the 311 Mystery Bus, recently a new people-mover has been vying for my patronage. The Village to Village Bus runs through the neighbourhood on Thursdays and Fridays. It begins its route down at the Mary Macdonald Activity Centre on Bourke Street, Woolloomooloo and then moves up through Kings Cross, Darlinghurst and on to Central Station and Redfern.
So it traverses much the same route as the 311 but unlike the 311, the Village to Village Bus costs absolutely nothing for a ride. Yes, it's hard to believe, but some things in life are still free.
So now, at the end of the week while going to work, instead of seeing this:
I see this:
It's a much cosier ride and the driver is really chatty. Because it is a small bus, whenever I catch it, I feel like I am part of some weird church group or school student going off on a day trip to the museum. It definitely has that community bus vibe about it. The bus takes the community route too, stopping at St Vincent's Hospital:
The Village to Village Bus first began spinning its wheels through the streets of Sydney in 2007, with a limited route between Redfern, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on the outskirts of Newtown, and inner city Glebe.
It is run by the South Sydney Community Transport group and funded by the City of Sydney council as a means for residents without cars to connect to shops, health care and other services.
The Woolloomooloo to Redfern service, which I catch, was established in 2008 and last year they extended the route to include Onslow and Billyard avenues in Elizabeth Bay.
The council committed a further grant of $36,000 in the last budget to keep the service going. But I imagine they won't continue the funding unless people catch it, so if you happen to see it cruising along, make sure you flag it down and go for a free ride.
Village to Village Bus
Every Thursday and Friday
Woolloomooloo to Redfern
(use the times as a guide to the stops in between)
8am: Mary Macdonald Activity Centre
8.15am: St Vincent's Hospital
8.45am: Poets Corner, Redfern
9.45am: Mary Macdonald Activity Centre
10am: St Vincent's Hospital
10.30am: Poets Corner, Redfern
11.30am: Mary Macdonald Activity Centre
11.45am: St Vincent's Hospital
12.15pm: Poets Corner, Redfern
1.30pm: Mary Macdonald Activity Centre
1.45pm: St Vincent's Hospital
2.15pm: Poets Corner, Redfern
3.15pm: Mary Macdonald Activity Centre
3.30pm: St Vincent's Hospital
4pm: Poets Corner, Redfern
The Village to Village bus stops at most of the usual bus stops.
There are also four trips in the reverse direction.
Timetables are available from the bus and from the council's website here.