Pinelands Bus Company

Halfway House at the top of Woodside Drive was a wood and iron structure that had been the home of the Plague Hospital superintendent.   It became the office of the Pinelands Bus Company (Pty) Ltd when a Pinelands resident, Mrs Dennison, started the bus service between Pinelands and Mowbray in 1929. Mr. Moore, a neighbour, was the bus driver and Mrs. Dennison, collected the fares.

The original bus was a single decker as it was felt that a double decker would hit too many trees. 

The bus route included Northwalk, Acacia Way, Central Avenue, Serpentine and Meadway. The service was extended as Pinelands grew and the terminus was eventually located in Francis Road.

There were no bus stops, and passengers were picked up wherever they stood on the route. In June 1933, the Pinelands Civic Association resolved to introduce bus stops, as by now the company had purchased a second bus to service the route at peak times. These were 8am to 8.30am, 1.30pm, and 5 to 6pm.

At a public meeting in June 1941, the Pinelands Bus Service revealed that it was costing the company £168 (R336) for licences and insurance, and there had been a wage increase of eight shillings (R1.60) a week, and a war allowance of £3 (R6). The cost of a new bus chassis and body was £2690 (R5380). Because of these high costs, the company increased the fares – from Mowbray to the terminus at Pinelands Bridge would be one penny (1c). Servicemen would travel at half price.

Three months later complaints were levelled against the company regarding its service. Due to the poor condition of the road, the bus frequently broke down. More buses were required to keep pace with the growth of Pinelands, but the British wartime government would not allow the export of new bus components. 

Eventually Mrs Dennison was able to purchase additional buses and extended the bus service to Cape Town. In 1941 Pinelands Bus Service (Pty) Ltd. was purchased by the Golden Arrow Bus Service. They had previously purchased the Gleemor Bus Service from Mrs Dennison in 1932.

Golden Arrow continued the bus service on two routes in Pinelands, both terminating at Thornton station. One route followed Forest Drive then Ringwood Drive while the other route went down Central Ave deviating up St Stephens Road before joining Union Avenue. Golden Arrow ceased the Cape Town run but reintroduced it in 1971 from Howard Drive to Cape Town station.

Double decker bus on the old Pinelands bridge