Travelling to School

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

Public transport

Secondary school students who live in metropolitan Melbourne or regional areas may be entitled to discounted public transport.

For information about travelling on concession fares, concession cards and student passes, see: Students - Public Transport Victoria

School Bus Program (SBP)

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 SBP. Your school will also be able to help.

SBP resources

2017 SBP 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.

SBP application forms

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.

Eligibility

To be eligibile for transport assistance under the SDTP a student must:

  1. be eligible for the Program for Students with a Disability (PSD)

  2. live in a Designated Transport Area (DTA) of the government specialist school attended

  3. be enrolled at the school for three or more days a week

  4. 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.

Policy

Travel education 

The Travel Education Framework (TEF) is a resource to assist specialist schools with planning a sequential developmentprogram 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
 

Conveyance Allowance Program (CAP)

The Department provides financial assistance in the form of a conveyance allowance to help families in rural and regional Victoria with the cost of transporting their children to their nearest government school/campus or nearest appropriate non-government school/campus.

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.  The allowance is an acknowledgement of the sometimes limited transport options available outside metropolitan Melbourne and particularly assists students who attend their nearest school but do not have access to a free school bus service.

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: 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. 

2017 Transport Special Case Consideration Panel dates 

  • Tuesday, 24 January

  • Thursday, 16 February

  • Tuesday, 21 March

  • Tuesday, 23 May

  • Thursday, 24 August

  • Tuesday, 21 November

Transport Special Case Consideration resources and application forms