Forest Coach Lines

Forest Coach Lines is an Australian bus and coach operator. Founded in 1930 in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, since 2016 it has expanded with purchases in the Mid North Coast and North West Slopes regions in New South Wales. It is a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Australia.

Forest Coach Lines
ParentComfortDelGro Australia
Commenced operation1 March 1930
HeadquartersTerrey Hills
Service areaKuring-gai
Northern Beaches
Mid North Coast
North West Slopes
Service typeBus services
Fleet240 (November 2019)
Chief executiveNicolas Yap (as CEO of CDC Australia)


In March 1930 Eric and Trevor Royle trading as Royle Brothers, purchased routes 56 Chatswood station to Roseville Chase and 201 Roseville station to Roseville Chase from E Jones with three buses. In October 1941 the first service operated across the Roseville Bridge to Terrey Hills.[1][2]

In March 1947 route 52 Chatswood to Artarmon was purchased but quickly sold in November of that year.[3] From the late 1940s the Frenchs Forest area expanded rapidly and by 1960 the Royle Brothers fleet had expanded to 12 buses.[1]

The operation was renamed Forest Coach Lines in February 1964 and relocated to a new depot in Belrose. In May 1965 route 201 ceased. An expansion into coach charter saw Forest Trailways established with a separate depot in Manly Vale. Eric and Trevor Royle retired in the mid-1960s with the Trevor's sons Bernard and Tony taking over.[1]

In 1973 services were extended to Warringah Mall and in February 1982 to Duffys Forest. In August 1979 a new depot was opened in Terrey Hills to replace those at Belrose and Manly Vale.[1]

The Passenger Transport Act 1990 allowed Forest Coach Lines to commence operating services into the Sydney central business district in July 1992.[1][4] In August 1991 the Warringah Bus Lines operation was purchased from Shorelink[5] and in July 1998 part of St Ives Bus Service was purchased.[6][7]

In November 2012 it was announced that Forest had been successful in retaining the contract to operate Sydney Bus Region 14.[8][9]

In December 2014, a majority shareholding in the business was purchased by mid-market private equity firm Next Capital.[10][11]

In September 2016 the business of Manly Coaches was acquired with no vehicles.[12] In November 2016, the Mid North Coast business of Ryan's Bus Service was purchased with depots in Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga.[13] In April 2017, Sawtell Coaches was purchased with a depot in Toormina.[14][15] In September 2017, Wolters Bus & Coach Service was acquired on the North West Slopes with depots in Narrabri and Wee Waa.[16][17]

In September 2018 ComfortDelGro Australia purchased the business.[18][19][20][21]


As of November 2019, the combined fleet consists of 240 buses and coaches.[22] [23]

Forest Coach Lines built up its fleet with Leyland buses. In 1972 it placed the first Volvo in Sydney in service. Since then most purchases have been on Volvo or Mercedes-Benz chassis. In March 2013 two Bustech CDi double deckers were introduced.

When the business was renamed Forest Coach Lines in February 1964, a new white and green livery was introduced. These remained the fleet colours until 2013 when as part of its new regional bus contract Forest was required to adopt the Transport for NSW white and blue livery.[24]

Routes operated in Sydney

  • 141: Austlink to Manly via Belrose, Northern Beaches Hospital, Seaforth, Balgowlah & Fairlight
  • 193: Austlink to Warringah Mall via Belrose, Skyline, Beacon Hill & Narraweena
  • 194: St Ives Village Shops/St Ives Chase to City via St Ives Chase, Horace Road, East Killara, East Lindfield, East Roseville & Alpha Road
  • 195: Gordon to St. Ives Chase Loop
  • 196: Gordon to Mona Vale via St Ives Village Shops and Austlink
  • 197: Macquarie University to Mona Vale via Macquarie Centre, Macquarie Park, West Pymble, Gordon Station, St Ives Village Shops and Austlink
  • 260: Terrey Hills to North Sydney via Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Northbridge and Cammeray
  • 270: Terrey Hills to City QVB via Austlink, Belrose, Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • L70: Terrey Hills to City QVB via Belrose, Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road (Limited Stops)
  • 271: Belrose to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 273: Killarney Heights to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 274: Killarney Heights to City QVB via Frenchs Forest, Forestville & Alpha Road
  • 277: Chatswood to Castle Cove
  • 278: Chatswood to Killarney Heights
  • 279: Chatswood to Frenchs Forest (The Esplanade)
  • 280: Chatswood to Warringah Mall via East Roseville, Forestville, Frenchs Forest, Skyline & Allambie
  • 281: Chatswood to Davidson via Forestville & Frenchs Forest
  • 282: Chatswood to Belrose via Forestville, Frenchs Forest & Davidson
  • 283: Chatswood to Belrose via Forestville & Frenchs Forest
  • 284: Chatswood to Duffys Forest via Forestville, Frenchs Forest & Belrose, Austlink & Terrey Hills

Routes operated in Coffs Harbour

  • 362: Boambee to Coffs Harbour via SCU Coffs Harbour Campus & CH Base Hospital
  • 362W: Toormina to Boambee (Loop Service)
  • 362C: Sawtell to Coffs Harbour via Toormina & SCU, Coffs Harbour Campus
  • 363: Boambee to Coffs Harbour via Pacific Hwy
  • 364: Sawtell to Coffs Harbour via Hogbin Dr (Loop Service)
  • 372: Coffs Harbour to Grafton via Woolgoolga

Media related to Forest Coach Lines at Wikimedia Commons


  1. History Archived 2 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine Forest Coach Lines
  2. New South Wales Bus Operators and Fleet Listings. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. 1993. p. 53.
  3. Manny, Leon B (1985). Terminus Please. Sydney: Historic Commercial Vehicle Association. p. 60. ISBN 0 959601 63 5.
  4. "Services" Fleetline September 1992 page 173
  5. "Ownership changes" Fleetline February 1992 page 35
  6. "Ownership changes" Fleetline July 1998 page 131
  7. St Ives Bus Services, Australian Bus Fleet Lists, Accessed 24 March 2014
  8. Cut costs or bus contracts will go to private sector, minister tells drivers Sydney Morning Herald 7 November 2012
  9. Mixed Result for Private Bus Operators Archived 24 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Association NSW 7 November 2012
  10. Next Capital finalises Forest Australian Financial Review 8 December 2014
  11. Royle Family Sell Forest Coach Lines Transitgraphics.
  12. Home Archived 3 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine Manly Coaches
  13. Family owned Coffs Coast bus company calls it a day Coffs Coast Advocate 3 November 2016
  14. "Sawtell Sahdra BusLines". Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  15. Forest Coach Lines expands in Coffs Harbour region Forest Coach Lines 13 April 2017
  16. Home Wolters Bus & Coach Service
  17. Forest Coach Lines expands in North West Slopes region Forest Coach Lines 20 September 2017
  18. "ComfortDelGro Deepens Footprint in Australia with Two Acquisitions Totaling A$134.45 Million". ComfortDelgro. 7 August 2018. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  19. CDC buys Sydney's oldest privately run family bus company: Forest Coachlines Australasian Bus & Coach 8 August 2018
  20. Forest Change of Ownership Forest Coach Lines 13 August 2018
  21. End of an era for Forest Coach Lines Manly Daily 28 September 2018
  22. Forest Coach Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  23. Wolters Bus & Coach Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  24. Blue over green Forest Coach Lines buses Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Manly Daily 11 January 2013
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