Welcome to the Public Transport Guide for Parents where you will find all the information and decisions you need to make to prepare your child for travelling on Translink's public transport network in South East Queensland.

We know that family life is very busy, so we have brought together all student travel information in an easy step-by-step guide. You can select the most relevant headings in the left side column.

There are four types of public transport on the Translink network:

  • bus
  • train
  • ferry
  • tram.

For most students, bus and train will be the most common mode when travelling to school.

We have three planning tools to help you find the most suitable public transport mode and school route for your child:

  1. School service finder to find school routes within 1km of your child's school
  2. Journey planner for a more customised search
  3. qconnect journey planner for urban bus services outside the Translink service area.

MyTranslink app

MyTranslink is the official Queensland Government app for public transport in South East Queensland, Mackay, Cairns, Toowoomba and Townsville.

Download the app on your mobile from the app store - search for 'My Translink'.

Journey planner

When using journey planner, make sure you select a date that falls on a school day and choose between 'Depart' or 'Arrive before' to tailor your search.

You can contact your local school bus delivery partner for more information about the school service and student assistance options.

Example: Matthew attends a state high school within the South East Queensland region and lives 6km from his school. His parents download the MyTranslink app to find the local bus service, and the school service timetable.

To find the best travel product for your child, visit student ticketing options.

This includes options under the School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS), for those experiencing hardship, living a certain distance from school, and those with a disability.

The most common concession is the child and student go cards:

  • all primary and secondary school students are eligible for a concession go card
  • concession fares are 50 percent of an adult fare
  • a further 50 percent is deducted after the 8th paid journey within a week (Monday to Sunday)
  • parents can save over $650 a year when your child uses a concession go card every school day.

School students 15 years and older must hold a valid student ID (issued by the school) to buy a student concession go card (the green one).

You can buy a go card online, at selected retailers, or over the phone.

Example 1: Matthew lives within 1km of his high school. His parents purchase the green concession go card and sets-up auto top-up.

Example 2: Cathy lives more than 4.8km from her nearest state high school, and may qualify for assistance under STAS. Cathy's parents submit a STAS application to determine the level of assistance available for her.

It is the responsibility of all parents and carers to ensure enough travel credit is on their child's go card.

The easiest way to ensure your child always has travel credit is to set-up auto top-up online.

Auto -top up is:


  • ensures travel credit every time
  • contactless card transactions
  • no need for you child to carry travel money
  • encourages safe and responsible travel.


  • only takes 5 minutes to set-up on the go card website
  • no more queuing or last minute dashes to manually top-up your child's go card
  • $5 auto trigger balance
  • minimum top-up is $20.


  • triggered by usage and won't expire with time
  • opt to receive top-up text messages
  • credit can be accessed and transferred to a new card if it is lost or stolen.

Join more than 200,000 Queenslanders who already have auto top-up. Simply:

  1. Log into your child's go card account (you will need to register the card first if you haven't already, please call 13 12 30 to register your child's go card).
  2. Click on the top-up tab and set your preferred auto top-up amount ($20 minimum and $5 is the balance trigger).

You can also call 13 12 30 and set-up auto top-up over the phone.

Fares are determined by the distance your child travels from home to school.

You can find your child's fare by using the journey planner (or the app version - MyTranslink). After you enter the journey, the fare total and zone summary will appear under 'Your travel options' box.

Visit fares and zones for more information.

  • student concession fares are 50 percent of adult fares
  • a further 50 percent is deducted after the 8th paid journey within a week (Monday to Sunday)
  • parents can save over $650 a year when your child uses a concession go card every day.

Note: fares and zones section is relevant to SEQ only.

If your child swaps one day of public transport with active travel (for example walking or cycling), you will save a further $135 a year.

Did you know, the average Queensland Government subsidy per trip is $7.12?


Parents play a key role in their children's safety when travelling on public transport to and from school.

There are some simple things you as parents and carers can do to ensure the safety of your child.


  • Ensure your child has the correct ticket, student ID, and/or wearing their school uniform.
  • Set-up auto top-up on their go card.


  • Take a journey on the bus/train trip with your child before school starts so they’re familiar with surroundings and know how to tap on/off.


  • Regularly remind your child of their responsibilities – Walk, Pay, Respect.


Children play a key role in their safety when travelling to and from their school.

There are some simple things students can do to ensure their own safety.


  • Walk quietly, one-by-one, on and off public transport.


  • Pay your fare by tapping on and off or flash your pass.


  • Sit quietly on public transport, keep belongings in bag, and speak politely.

These simple steps are outlined in our Code of Conduct for School Students Travelling on Buses (PDF, 6.5MB).

All students travelling on public transport have a responsibility to ensure their safety, this includes paying their fare. There are potential consequences for not complying, such as refusal of travel.

Public transport officers

There are five types of transport officers who work across Translink's four public transport modes - bus, train, tram, ferry - who help keep students safe. Each type of officer has varying levels of power under the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 and Transport Infrastructure Act 1994.

Parents and carers to:

Students to: