Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Student travel financial assistance allowing children to get back to school on public transport

Primary and secondary school students in South East Queensland are eligible for concession fares at 50 per cent of an adult go card fare, while students across the state may also be eligible for assistance under the School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS).

STAS provides assistance in situations where access to education is impeded by distance, income, or isolation.

A total of $180 million ($160 million for regional Queensland and $20 million for South East Queensland) has been provided by the Miles Government in 2023-24 to help families fund school travel for their children.

Students living with parents or guardians at two different locations under shared cared arrangements are now now also able to access STAS for travel on public transport, with more than $18 million in funding over the next three years, as well as a further $4.3 million per year from 2026-27.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Bart Mellish explained the program further.

“About 130,000 school children across the state access School Transport Assistance Scheme funding and I’d encourage parents and guardians of students not already using it to check their eligibility,” he said.

“The assistance reduces education costs for families through discounted ticketing for public or school transport.

“Getting back to school is an exciting time for students but it can also be a stressful time for parents, and the Miles Government is doing everything it can to reduce that pressure for parents and families,” Mellish said.

Other important tips for students to ensure a smooth transition back to school include:

  • buying or checking the validity of travel cards or go cards and considering auto top-up
  • familiarising themselves with local public transport stops, stations and services
  • claiming their concessions, including the School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS)
  • checking out Translink’s safe school travel tips

Applications for STAS and transport assistance for students living in shared care arrangements can be made online via the Queensland Government website.