School Bus Services
Free school bus services are provided under a set of guidelines to ensure that a fair and equitable service is available. It is the policy of the Department of Education and Training (DET) that a parent may choose to send their children to a school of their choice, however free bus travel is provided only to the nearest appropriate school. Free bus travel is provided only when a student resides 4.8 kilometres or more from the school (front gate to front gate).
How do I know if my children are eligible?
Under normal circumstances government school students in years Prep to 10 will be eligible for bus transport only to their nearest school. For students in Years 11 and 12 access to comprehensive curriculum may be considered to determine the nearest appropriate school.
Non-government school students will be granted permission to travel to the nearest registered school of the appropriate denomination offering a program at that level.
The Principal of the Bus Coordinating School (Ballarat High School) is responsible for coordinating all applications for permission to travel on a school bus service, including students attending both state and registered schools.
It is recognised there will be circumstances that warrant special consideration where a student does not meet the rules for eligibility to travel. In such cases the parent must seek the approval of the Regional Director, to travel on the school bus service. If the approval is given such students would be treated as ‘eligible’ in future decisions about that bus service.
What if my children are not eligible for free bus travel?
The current policy is that spare capacity on a school bus can be used for fare paying passengers. Permission to travel is subject to stringent conditions, including the requirement of parents to make alternative arrangements if at any stage there is insufficient capacity on the relevant bus.
Thus, arrangements for fare payers can only be made on a term-to-term basis. Final approval to travel is only granted when the appropriate documentation is completed and fares for the next term have been paid.
Ineligible students and the general public who wish to access a school bus service are required to pay a fare. The fares are set by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and are at child concession fare rates.