After the major decision of school selection for your children, this is often closely followed by ensuring there are adequate transport options available.. This is not always easy as many government transport services do not access every home in Brisbane.
Finding Bus Route Information for School Students
Following increases in student enrolments due to year 7 transitioning into high school, many school services have changed both in the routes they are taking and the amount of bus services they are providing. It is well worth contacting the school that you are attending to find out what these changes mean for you. Many schools provide links on their websites to the private bus services they provide or other alternative public transport options.
In South East Queensland, school students can catch any Translink bus, ferry, train or tram service to and from their home to school. A great service is the Translink journey planner which helps to make the school journey easier.
We suggest that it is worth taking this trip with your Brisbane Kid prior to the school year to ensure they feel comfortable travelling alone and that you can provide them with safe zones and people in case they find themselves in trouble. We advise checking out the times that bus and train stations are open and emergency procedures. Sometimes equipping your school child with a mobile device may be an ideal way to provide an extra level of security. In an ideal world you will find other parents in your area in similar situations and buddy up your kids prior to the beginning of the school year or even set up a car pooling system. Community Facebook groups can be helpful for these sorts of linkups.
BRISBANE BUS LINES
Another great service is provided by Brisbane Bus Lines. Due to the number of timetables they have, they do not provide timetables on the web however you can contact them via email or telephone on 07 3354 3633 where they can help to transport students through all or some of the commuting journey. The great thing about Brisbane Bus Lines is they tend to head to more remote areas, the downside is, drop off areas are not necessarily in the safest or most public areas so it is worth exploring whether a drop off elsewhere is a safer option. (example. It may be a better option for a student to disembark at a library within your suburb and wait for you than wait for you on the side of a road. Ultimately you will need to make these decisions.)
Transdev operate 92 school bus services in the Brisbane and Redlands area and they also run 11 school bus runs in the Yatala region. Their latest timetables for varying schools can easily be downloaded via their website.
SOUTHERN CROSS TRANSIT
Southern Cross Transit provides bus services to schools in Brisbane’s Western Suburbs and Ipswich and both timetables and maps of the school bus routes can be located here.
Bus Queensland is one of the largest privately owned bus companies in Australia and provides school transport services for the greater South East Queensland area. With four depots servicing Ipswich, the Lockyer Valley, Park Ridge and Toowoomba, they consider themselves part of the local community. Once the school of choice has been selected on their website, descriptions of various routes appear to make choosing the correct route simple and easy.
Transport assistance may also be provided by Education Queensland for students with disabilities where circumstances and family needs are warranted.
KANGAROO BUS LINES
Kangaroo Bus Lines have been transporting school students for over 30 years, with over 4000 students travelling daily to more than 35 schools in the Moreton Bay area. Kangaroo Bus Lines provide a complete list of services provided for school travel on their website.
THOMPSON BUS SERVICES
Thompson Bus Services run 31 school bus runs on the north side of Brisbane. The schools they service are listed on their website which includes information on services operating to the particular schools.
When is your child ready to catch a bus to school
The answer to this question will depend on how far the child is travelling, the type of service, whether it leaves from your home and drops them directly at school- many logistical factors. Then there is the issue of your peace of mind and that of your child, which have a lot to do with their maturity and temperament and equally as much to do with your past experiences and tendency to worry. There is no right answer here.
The No Child Left Behind Policy which was introduced after the abduction of Daniel Morcombe states that children should not be left behind even if they have no fare. Despite this reassurance my advice is not to rely on this. Provide your child with safety nets, provide them with extra fare money and check often that they have not spent it. Run through stranger danger and ensure your child is comfortable with the public transport route. Be prepared to scaffold and support this journey atleast for the first couple of days. Have “incase” scenarios thought through in the event you can’t pick them up from the other end, or if they miss their bus etc. Be safe.