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NSW School Student Transport Scheme

The School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) provides subsidised travel for eligible school students on rail, bus, ferry and long distance coach services. A subsidy is also available for transport to and from school in private vehicles in areas where there is no public transport.

Transport for NSW manages the School Student Transport Scheme. Transport operators issue passes to eligible students, and schools play an important role in verifying students' eligibility and liaising with transport providers.Download SSTS Brochure PDF (176KB)

The School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) can only be used for:

  • travel between home and the school campus at which the student is enrolled, and

  • approved travel, Monday to Friday on school days.

The scheme does not extend to travel for activities such as:

  • school excursions,

  • sports events,

  • work experience,

  • attendance at Vocational Education and Training (VET) in schools at a location away from the school/campus at which the student is enrolled,

  • attendance at multi-campus high schools, Saturday schools, pre-schools, mini-schools (except for full-time geographically isolated distance education students),

  • attendance at before and after school care or child minding premises.

To be eligible for the Scheme an applicant must be:

a resident of NSW
4 years and 6 months of age or older and enrolled as one of the following:

  • an infant student (K-2) regardless of the distance between their home and school

  • primary student (Years 3-6) who lives more than 1.6 kms (radial distance) from school, or 2.3 kms or more by the most direct practical walking route to the nearest entry point to the school

  • secondary student (Year 7-12) who lives more than 2 kms (radial distance) from school, or 2.9 kms or more by the most direct practical walking route to the nearest entry point to the school

  • a TAFE student under 18 years of age at 1st January of the year of application who is:

    • enrolled in a full-time TAFE course for a minimum of 20 hours a week

    • not employed

    • living more than 3.2 kms from the college by the most direct practical walking route and

    • attending the college closest to their home where enrolment is available.

How to Apply
  1. Application forms are available from the school or TAFE. Forms must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian if the student is under 16 years of age.

  2. A separate application must be lodged for each part of the trip undertaken with a different transport operator. For instance, a journey using the services of two bus operators requires two applications. If a trip is undertaken on two separate services of the same transport operator, only one application is necessary.

  3. The completed application form(s) should be returned to the school or TAFE, which will verify that the student is enrolled.

  4. The school will forward the application form(s) to the transport operator, who will assess whether the student meets the distance eligibility criteria.

  5. If eligible, the operator will issue the student with a pass, which indicates that it is solely for travel under the Scheme. In rural areas such as Table Top, passes are not issued.

A new application must be completed when a student:

  • enrols in kindergarten

  • progresses from Year 2 to be an eligible student in Year 3

  • progresses from Year 6 to Year 7

  • changes name, school and/or address

  • applies for an additional travel pass in a joint/dual custody situation.

Unsuccessful Applications

Applicants can reapply for the Scheme through Transport NSW (TNSW) if the operator rejects their application. They should reapply in writing to the nearest TNSW regional office setting out the reasons why the student should have access to the Scheme. These may include safety or medical issues.

If the application is also rejected by TNSW, and the applicant believes there are special circumstances that should be taken into account (such as safety or hardship issues), they can appeal. The regional office will provide information at the time of rejection on how to appeal the decision.

Appeals are assessed by the School Student Transport Scheme Appeals Panel. Members of the Panel include representatives of the Department of Education and Training, the Federation of Parents and Citizens' Associations of NSW, the Council of Catholic School Parents or the NSW Parents' Council and a member with expertise in safety.

Joint / Dual Custody

In a joint/dual custody situation, a student is eligible for subsidised travel from both the parents addresses, subject to meeting the normal eligibility criteria.  A copy of the Family Law Court ruling should be forwarded to the nearest TNSW Office for assessment.  If the matter has not gone to the Family Law Court, a statutory declaration from each parent specifying the time share arrangements for the student residing at both addresses should be submitted.  Applications for subsidized travel for Friday afternoons and Monday mornings only (to cover weekend access visits) are not eligible under the Scheme.

If one of the parents in a joint/dual custody situation changes their address, you must indicate in Q4 , which parent, ie mother or father, has moved and provide details of their previous address.

Student Responsibilities

When completing an application for subsidised travel under the Scheme, parents and guardians acknowledge that students have been made aware of the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct was developed in conjunction with the bus industry, CityRail, representatives of parent groups and education authorities. They aim to ensure both the safety of students and the comfort of other passengers by outlining the behaviour required of students when travelling to and from school.

The Codes of Conduct are printed on the School Student Transport Scheme application forms. Parents/guardians are asked to discuss these simple rules with their children so that they understand the standards of behaviour required of students.

Depending on the seriousness of the misbehaviour, students may be penalised if they breach the Codes of Conduct. Students may have their travel pass temporarily or permanently suspended and may be required to make alternative travel arrangements. Students misbehaving on trains and railway stations may have their travel pass confiscated for up to one year and be required to buy normal tickets for travel to and from school. 


Use of Pass Issued to Eligible Students

School travel is only available between home and school for school attendance and is available on school days only.

Passes are not transferrable and must be shown on demand. Therefore all students are advised to carry their Travel Pass with them on all school days. Students must present their Pass to the driver upon boarding or to an inspector when requested.

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