South East Queensland and Cairns

In South East Queensland, school students can catch any TransLink service to and from school.

School students in Cairns can travel to and from school on any TransLink service provided by Sunbus. Loves Bus Service also operates a school bus service in the area.

In many parts of Queensland, students may travel to and from school on designated school bus services where TransLink or qconnect services are unavailable.

These school services provide government-funded travel for eligible School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS) students to their nearest school. Eligible students may travel beyond their nearest school, only if there is room on the bus service for them. This travel is a private arrangement between the parent/guardian and the bus operator.

An appropriate fare for the additional distance travelled is paid directly to the bus operator, but it cannot be more than the Maximum Cash Fare Schedule set by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

School students who do not qualify for STAS assistance may also travel on designated school services at the discretion of the bus operator provided there is room on the bus. This travel is also a private arrangement between the parent/guardian and the bus operator.

Designated school services contact details

There are about 600 designated school service operators across Queensland. Contact your local TMR office or school to find your local bus operator.

Regional Queensland

School students in regional Queensland can search for bus services to and from school using the qconnect journey planner. Please contact your regional qconnect school bus operator for timetable information.

For students living in parts of Queensland where TransLink or qconnect services don't operate, a designated school bus service may be available. Your local TMR school transport office or school will be able to advise who your local bus operator is.

Safe travel of school students

The safety and comfort of all students and other passengers when travelling is very important. We recommend parents read our helpful tips below before your child starts to travel independently, as well as our safety tips (PDF, 583KB) for when your child travels on public transport to school. If your child has a smartphone, you may also wish to download TransLink's free mobile application, MyTransLink, to set up their favourite services and stops and access real time information about a service.

We thoroughly investigate all reports where a child has missed their service.

If a service has not stopped for your child, they are still on the network and you know their current location, call us on 13 12 30 to make a report and we will investigate urgently.

If your child is still on the network and you are concerned for their safety, please contact the police in the first instance.

We will need to know:

  • date of the incident
  • time
  • age of your child
  • route your child was waiting for
  • location where your child was waiting for service
  • where your child was going
  • best contact number for the child's parent/guardian/teacher.

If your child is no longer on the network or has changed their travel plans, please advise us of the incident by calling 13 12 30 to make a report and we will conduct an investigation.

All reports of a child missing a service will be investigated. We will work with the responsible service provider to investigate the case, which may include:

  • Identifying and interviewing the driver of the service
  • Reviewing real-time data to determine the time at which a service passed the location your child was waiting for
  • Reviewing CCTV footage where available
  • Checking go card ticketing data
  • Taking disciplinary action depending on the circumstances of the incident.

We will keep you informed and will:

  • Contact you within 1 business day from your initial contact to provide an update
  • Advise you of the investigation outcome. While we aim to respond to your complaint within 5 working days, some investigations are more complex which may take up to 10 business days.

When planning your trip to school, you should:

  • Arrive at the bus stop, ferry terminal or train station a few minutes early (minimum 5 minutes prior to departure time is best).
  • If you are waiting for a bus, when you see it approaching, raise your hand to signal the driver to stop.

If a service does not stop, you should:

  • Contact your parent/guardian immediately to let them know that you have missed your service.
  • If you decide to board the next service, wait in a safe place and do not run and play while waiting.
  • If you change your travel plans and decide to leave the bus, train, ferry or tram stop, make sure that your parent/guardian is aware of your plans.
  • Never, under any circumstances, accept a ride from a stranger.
  • If you are concerned for your safety, contact the police in the first instance.

It can be useful to do a practice run with your child before they start to travel independently. You can help to:

  • Review the Code of Conduct for School Students Travelling on Buses and discuss the expected behaviours and the responsibilities with your child.
  • Plan the journey in advance to confirm the route and stop location, and check for service updates before your child travels
  • Walk to and from the stop location so your child is familiar with their surroundings
  • Discuss safety when travelling alone
  • Arrive at the bus stop, ferry terminal or train station a few minutes early (minimum 5 minutes prior to departure time is best)
  • Stand at a safe distance to hail the bus as it approaches, so the driver knows to stop
  • Make sure their go card is topped-up, they have a travel pass or are carrying the correct change before boarding the service
  • Practice touching on and off with their go card
  • Identify which stop to get off and learning when to ring the bell
  • Provide your child with a phone, phonecard or coins for a payphone so that they can contact you
  • Use the journey planner to identify other services that your child can use to get home safety in case they have missed their regular service.
  • Have a prepared backup plan.

Code of conduct

The Code of Conduct outlines the requirements for students travelling on public transport, and guidelines for bus operators, parents and schools.

More information

Please contact us for more information about school transport in South East Queensland or Cairns.

Your regional school transport office can provide further information about school transport options in regional Queensland.