Bankstown was the first Sydney suburb to get a double decker bus in 1922. The Majestic ran between Bankstown to East Hills. The Leyland double decker, used on the Bankstown-East Hills service. Coach builder Syd Wood can be seen standing near the rear wheel holding the plans. Photo: Bus NSW Collection.
ALMOST half a century after they disappeared from Bankstown streets, double decker buses have made a welcomed return.
Two new double decker buses were introduced on the M92 route between Sutherland and Parramatta last month, running through Bankstown, and onto Lidcombe and Granville.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson says the larger buses have created additional capacity on 16 daily trips on weekdays, including peak services travelling towards Parramatta in the morning, then back towards Sutherland in the afternoon and evening. The buses provide seating for 92 customers, which is around 48 more seats than that of the standard two door city buses.
Double decker buses first ran in Sydney by private operators in the 1920s and from 1933, by the NSW Government. They hit their peak in the early 1960s.
Condell Park resident and Sydney Bus Museum member, Andrew Chechlacz says Bankstown holds a special connection with double decker buses.
"Bankstown was the first Sydney suburb to get a double decker bus in 1922," Mr Chechlacz said.
"Bede Brennan, a local entrepreneur owned a double decker bus by the name of the Majestic, which ran from Bankstown to East Hills. They remained a public transport option for Bankstown until the late 1960s, when they were phased out."
Mr Chechlacz said Bankstown was also involved in the manufacturing of double decker buses.
Syd Woods Coach Works, located in Chapel Road, built the buses for the NSW Government in the 1930s, while Pressed Metal Corporation in Marigold Street, Revesby, did likewise during the early 1970s.
Reliability issues, difficulty in obtaining spare parts and a relaxation in the maximum length of single decker buses, resulted in the demise of the double decker.
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW says the re-introduction of double decker buses, which are the first in a fleet of six buses for the M92 route, will add valuable capacity to existing services.