Students living in rural and regional Victoria may be able to get free transport to school through the School bus program.
There are a number of different criteria families are required to meet to be eligible for the school bus program.
For more information, see:
Eligibility guide for families
Criteria for determining whether a school is appropriate for a student has been specified by the Minister under section 104(1) of the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) - see Instrument of Specification: Transport Services and Travelling Allowances – (Instrument of Specification) below.
Instrument of Specification
This instrument applies to any decisions made under Part 10 (Transport Services and Travelling Allowances) of the Regulations after the commencement of the instrument regardless of when the application for travel on an approved transport service or for a travelling allowance was made. The Instrument came into effect on its date of publication, 18 March 2019.
Who does this apply to?
For Government schools, a school is an appropriate school for a student if they may be enrolled at and attend the school as determined under the provisions of the
Education and Training Reform Act 2006 governing the Government school system.
For non-Government schools, a school is appropriate if:
• the school falls within the same religious denomination as the school at which the student is attending; and
• if the school at which the student is attending is not a special school, the school is located outside of the Metropolitan Conveyance Allowance Boundary; and
• if the school at which the student is attending is a special school, the relevant school is of the same kind or class of special school; and
• if the school at which the student is attending only enrols students of a particular sex, the relevant school only enrols students of that particular sex.
The criteria now includes an exception for students who are not religious. In these cases, a student may apply to the Department for a determination that a religious non-Government school which has compulsory religious instruction is not appropriate for that student.
Apply for the program
You must use one of the application forms below and arrange for families to fill their designated sections. Schools then submit the form/s to the Department.
Use the application form that matches the student's eligibility.
Students who are not eligible for the program, and the general public who use a school bus program service must pay a fare. The 2020 fare is $120 per term or $480 per year.
Schools must submit collected fares each term to the Department. Use
this template to record student and travel details:
Fare Remittance Advice Form (xlsx - 36.9kb)
Please include a hard copy with fare remittance (if paying by cheque) and also email a copy to
Term 2 fares
The School Bus Program’s ineligible traveller bus fare of $120 per term will be waived for Term 2. Families will still need to complete the normal application process through their school to travel.
If a family has already paid the fare to travel in Term 2 for the School Bus Program, they should contact their school to discuss a refund or that the school retain the fare for future travel costs.
The school bus program is an extensive school bus network that provides travel at no cost to eligible government and non-government students living in rural and regional Victoria.
The school bus network is administered by Public Transport Victoria and carries over 65,000 students each school day on approximately 1500 school bus routes at a cost of $205 million per annum.