Free School Travel

If you already know you need to complete a new Transport for NSW online application please click APPLY NOW. If you require to update or change your details please click here. Otherwise select from the options below for further information on the School Student Transport Scheme.

What is the School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS)?

It is a scheme administered by Transport for NSW in conjunction with schools and transport companies to enable eligible students to travel to and from school at no cost to the parents or guardians.

How do I know if my child is eligible?

Students from Kindergarten-Year 2 are eligible if:

No minimum distance criteria applies to these students.

Note: Pre-school children are not eligible for subsidised travel between home and school under the SSTS

Primary school students from years 3-6 are eligible if:

  • They are a resident of NSW, or an overseas student eligible for free government education
  • The straight line distance from their home address to school is 1.6 km or further.
  • The walking distance from home to school is 2.3 km or further.

Primary school students who live too close to the school to be eligible for free travel may purchase a Term Pass by contacting our office which provides bus travel at a discounted price.

Secondary school students from years 7-12 are eligible if:

  • They are a resident of NSW or an overseas student who is eligible for free government education
  • the straight line distance from their home address to school is 2 kilometres, or further, or
  • the walking distance from home to school is 2.9 kilometres or further.

Secondary school students who live too close to the school to be eligible for free travel may purchase a Term Pass by contacting our office which provides bus travel at a discounted price.

TAFE students are eligible if:

  • They are a resident of NSW or an overseas student eligible for free government education
  • They are under 18 years of age at 1 January of the year of application.
  • They are enrolled in a full-time TAFE course for a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • They are not employed.
  • The walking distance from home to TAFE is 3.2 km or further.
  • They attend the closest TAFE where enrolment is available.

Non-Australian residents and students temporarily in Australia

Certain non-Australian residents and students temporarily in Australia are eligible for free or subsidised travel, depending on their visa subclass. You will need to quote your visa subclass number when applying for the SSTS, in addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria.

How do I apply for a Free Travel Pass?

All applications for a Free School Travel Bus Pass are made by completing a Transport for NSW online application form. Please note that references to Opal Card do not apply to Rural and Regional areas, successful applicants will receive a Bus Pass from the bus operator.

You will need an email address to complete the form online. However, you can print a paper application form (pdf 52KB) for free travel if you don’t have an email address.

The online form will take you about 5 to 10 minutes to complete and needs to be completed in one session. You will not be able to save a partly completed application and return to it later.

Before starting your application, you will need to know which bus operator(s) are required for the student’s travel between home and school. If you are unsure please contact our office as selecting an incorrect bus operator will extend the process and delay when your child receives their bus pass.

It is no longer necessary to lodge a separate application for each different bus operator. One single online application covers all operators required for the student’s complete school journey.

Step 1. Parents/Guardians/Carers (or students aged 16 or over) first fill in the application form.

Step 2. Print and sign the form and submit to the school for endorsement. If you don’t have a printer, you’ll be able to email a copy of the application to yourself or save your application as a PDF and print it later.

Step 3. The school will then forward the application to Transport for NSW for processing.

Step 4. Transport for NSW will then email you and the bus operator the outcome of your application, if the application is approved we will post a bus pass to you.

If additional information needs to accompany the application, e.g.

this information should be prepared or scanned before starting to complete the application form.

How do I update my details?

If the student already has a bus pass and their address, school, or name has changed, or the student is entering Year 3 or Year 7 you will need to update their details online. The form will then need to be printed, signed and dated and submit to school for endorsement. The school will then forward the application to Transport for NSW for processing.

Transport for NSW will email you the outcome and if the update application is successful, a new bus pass will be posted to you.

You must return any bus pass to us that is no longer required or does not have the correct information.

Can my child catch the bus while the application is being processed?

Yes, when you complete your application you will receive an email from Transport for NSW confirming your application. We will accept this confirmation of your application for a bus pass for 14 days from the date of the confirmation.

After 14 days from the date of your application we may commence charging your child a fare, please contact our office for more information about this.

What do I do if the pass is lost?

Replacement passes may be obtained at a cost of $11 by contacting our office.

What happens if my child is not eligible for Free School Travel?

If Free Travel is not granted, there are two options for travel. The first is to simply pay the fare each way or purchase a discounted Term Bus Pass which provide a minimum discount of 20% from the daily cash fare (and often significantly higher). For further details please contact our office.

Shared Parental Responsibility?

In a shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody), a student is eligible for subsidised travel from both the parents’ addresses, subject to meeting the normal eligibility criteria.

A separate online SSTS application should be made by each parent (or by the student if aged 16 or over) for each address. Applications for subsidised travel for Friday afternoons and Monday mornings only (to cover weekend access visits) are not eligible under the Scheme.

You do not in the first instance need to provide a court order or statutory declaration to Transport for NSW for shared parental responsibility situations. However, Transport for NSW in its discretion reserves the right to request these or further evidence documents if required for the purposes of determining eligibility for subsidised travel from both parents’ addresses.

If you are in a shared parental responsibility situation where a School Pass has been approved and you change your address, you must submit an update application online

School Students Behaviour on Buses

Travel by bus for all students is subject to them conforming to the Code of Conduct developed by Transport for NSW. This Code of Conduct and the Guidelines for Managing School Student’s Behaviour on Buses were developed to clearly outline every student’s responsibility to behave in a manner that ensures the safety and comfort of passengers and drivers.

Disobeying these rules may lead to the withdrawal of bus travel passes and/or prosecution.

A reminder that when signing the application form the parent/guardian/carer explicitly declares that they support the code and that it has been explained to their child.

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