Transport options in your local area
Before finalising your child's enrolment at a new school, it is important to check what options are available for your child to travel to school. Your child's school should include information about the transport options with enrolment forms, or as part of an information night or in their parent information packages.
While parents/guardians have primary responsibility for transporting their children to and from school, the Department offers different types of transport assistance to eligible families. If parents/guardians accept transport assistance, they must agree to the conditions of travel.
For more information about Victorian Public Transport services, see:
PTV Journey Planner
Secondary school students in metropolitan Melbourne or regional areas may be entitled to discounted public transport.
School Bus Program
The School Bus Program is an extensive school bus network that provides free travel to eligible government and non-government students living in rural and regional Victoria. Students deemed ineligible for free travel may use a school bus service by paying a fare.
The network is administered by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and carries more than 65,000 students each school day on about 1500 school bus routes at a cost of $205 million a year.
Below are resources that will assist you in determining your child’s eligibility for the program. Your school will also be able to help.
2018 bus fare rates
Ineligible students and the general public who wish to access a SBP-provided service are required to pay a fare. A flat fare of $120 per term/ $480 per annum is payable.
To apply for the School Bus Program, please find the relevant application form and written undertaking form below.
Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP)
The Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTM) provides transport assistance for eligible students attending their designated government specialist school.
The assistance acknowledges the additional costs that families may incur as a result of attending a specialist school. However, attendance at a specialist school does not automatically entitle a student to assistance or preclude parents/guardians from being primarily responsible for their child's transport arrangements.
To be eligible for transport assistance under the SDTP a student must:
be eligible for the Program for Students with a Disability (PSD)
live in a Designated Transport Area (DTA) of the government specialist school attended
be enrolled at the school for three or more days a week
be of school-age and live in Victoria.
Types of travel assistance
Types of travel assistance may include:
a conveyance allowance
access to the travel education program
access to a mainstream school bus
access to a specialist school transport service
an alternative Department-arranged transport solution.
The Travel Education Framework (TEF) is a resource to assist specialist schools with planning a sequential development program that gives students the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully travel independently between home and school using public transport.
For more information, see:
Travel Education Framework
Financial help with student transport in rural and regional areas
Families in rural and regional Victoria can get help with the cost of transporting their children to their nearest school or campus. This is known as the conveyance allowance.
The conveyance allowance is available to students travelling by:
- public transport
- private car
- private bus
- or to students whose nearest school is not serviced by a free school bus.
The conveyance allowance is a contribution towards transport costs and is not intended to cover the full cost of transporting children to and from school.
Your child’s school will be able to advise you about the eligibility criteria and will apply on your child's behalf.
For more information, see:
Financial help with student transport (Conveyance allowance)
Transport special case consideration
A parent/guardian wishing to apply for special consideration or appeal a transport decision must make an application through their child’s school. The school should assist the parent/guardian to complete the application and ensure all the appropriate supporting documentation is attached.
In the first instance all transport special case consideration applications deemed to fall within the Department’s school transport policies are considered by the Student Transport Unit (STU). In most cases a decision can be made and schools informed of the outcome within 15 working days. The decision may include the application being referred to the Transport Special Case Consideration Panel.
Transport special case consideration panel
Complex and challenging cases are referred to the Transport Special Case Consideration Panel. It considers transport issues that may not be addressed by the Department’s transport policy documents and affects a child’s ability to travel to school.
The panel does not consider applications relating to ineligibility for transport assistance, financial hardship or the schooling and work arrangements of the siblings and parents of the student.
Schools will be informed of the Panel’s decision in writing approximately three weeks after the panel meets. Parents/guardians will be informed by the school on the outcome of a Panel application.
Students will not be granted access to transport support until the panel meets and considers their application.
2018 Transport special case consideration panel dates
Tuesday, 25 January - applications closing on 12 January 2018
Thursday, 22 February - applications closing on 9 February 2018
Tuesday, 20 March - applications closing on 9 March 2018
Tuesday, 24 May - applications closing on 11 May 2018
Thursday, 23 August - applications closing on 10 August 2018
Tuesday, 22 November - applications closing on 9 November 2018
Transport special case application form