School bus services

Services will operate as normal on all Victorian school bus networks. Your school will be notified if this advice changes.

School bus travel for specialist schools

From 26 May 2020, all specialist school students will return to school.

  • All currently suspended bus services will be reinstated from 26 May. This includes self-managed school buses. No school bus services are to be suspended from this date.
  • Buses are to resume normal timetable arrangements.
  • Bus usage is expected to be 80 to 90 per cent for the rest of Term 2.
  • The seats behind the driver must remain vacant and sectioned as ‘do not use’.
  • The bus chaperone or supervisor is to be seated away from the driver. Bus operators will coordinate this with their staff.
  • Due to the nature of bus timetables, service connections and interchange requirements, buses may not always be able to observe staggered drop-off times.
  • Schools are to work with bus operators to coordinate arrangements for waiting or queueing outside school grounds if needed.
  • All school bus operators have been and will continue to observe additional cleaning and sanitisation processes. This includes wiping down all tactile surfaces with sanitised wipes or solution after each run.
  • Bus operators are encouraged to provide hand sanitiser for students to use when travelling on the bus.

School bus travel for mainstream schools

Stage 1: from 26 May 2020, students in Prep, grades 1 and 2, and years 11 and 12 will return to school

  • All currently suspended bus services will be reinstated from 26 May. No school bus services are to be suspended from this date.
  • Buses are to resume normal timetable arrangements.
  • Bus usage is expected to increase to about 30 to 40 per cent of usual usage during Stage 1.
  • The seats behind the driver must remain vacant and sectioned as ‘do not use’.
  • Due to the nature of bus timetables, service connections and interchange requirements, buses may not always be able to observe staggered drop-off times.
  • All school bus operators have been and will continue to observe additional cleaning and sanitisation processes. This includes wiping down all tactile surfaces with sanitised wipes or solution after each run.
  • Bus operators are encouraged to provide hand sanitiser for students to use when travelling on the bus.

Stage 2: from 9 June 2020 all students will return to school

  • School bus networks will have started operating at full capacity from 26 May.
  • Bus usage is expected to be 80 to 90 per cent for the rest of Term 2.
  • The seats behind the driver will remain vacant and sectioned as ‘do not use’.
  • Due to the nature of bus timetables, service connections and interchange requirements, buses may not always be able to observe staggered drop-off times.
  • All school bus operators have been and will continue to observe additional cleaning and sanitisation processes. This includes wiping down all tactile surfaces with sanitised wipes or solution after each run.
  • Bus operators are encouraged to provide hand sanitiser for students to access when travelling on the bus.

Which school bus service to use

Students should continue to use their normal school bus service (the service they used in Term 1).

If a family is new to the area, has moved house or has other service questions, they should speak with their school’s bus coordinator.

Extra services

No further services will be added to Victoria’s school bus network.

Principals will monitor this situation and will let you know if this changes.

Student safety on school bus services

School buses and public transport are essential services and are available for students who need to travel.

Additional cleaning on school buses

As with all Victorian public transport services, school bus operators have increased cleaning across the network to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

All school buses will undergo daily cleaning and sanitisation. All high touch point surfaces will be wiped down, including:

  • handrails
  • arm rests
  • steering wheels
  • driver doors.

Physical distancing on school buses and at bus interchanges

Student transport services (public and private) are provided to enable students to travel to/from education facilities. 

To support distancing for adult bus staff, the seating area behind the driver should be kept clear.

If a driver and student supervisor are both onboard, supervisors should be seated away from the driver (potentially at the rear of the bus) to support distancing whilst maintaining care for student travellers.

Physical distancing should be continued for parents and school staff at bus stops, interchanges and school bus loading areas.

Transport for students with additional needs

Services will operate as normal on all Victorian school bus networks. This includes the Students with Disabilities Transport Program.

Your school will let you know if this advice changes.

Reimbursements for families who aren’t using their normal public transport school bus services

Those who have a Myki student pass can apply for a refund from Public Transport Victoria. Phone 1800 800 007.

School Bus Program fares and refunds

The School Bus Program’s ineligible traveller bus fare of $120 per term will be waived for Term 2. Families will still need to complete the normal application process through their school to travel.

If a family has already paid the fare to travel in Term 2 for the School Bus Program, they should contact their school to discuss a refund or that the school retain the fare for future travel costs.