For the Whole of Their Life.
The School Opal card gives eligible school students free travel on public transport between home and school on trains, buses and ferries within the Opal network. Parents can apply for a School Opal card at www.opal.com.au.
The School Opal card is only for travel to and from school on school days and doesn’t cover travel to after school care, school excursions, sport and other activities away from school. Transport for NSW recommends purchasing a Child/Youth Opal card for personal travel.
- Infants students (Years K, 1, 2) are eligible for a School Opal card irrespective of the distance from home to school.
- Primary students (Years 3-6) who live outside a 1 .6 Km radius, or who reside more than 2.3kms walking distance, by the shortest possible route, are eligible to apply for a School Opal card.
- Secondary students (Years 7-12) who live outside a 2 km radius from the school are eligible to apply for a School Opal card.
A new School Opal card application is required if:
- The student is applying for a school travel pass for the first time
- The student is changing school or campus
- The student is changing home address
- The student has received an expiry notification
- The student has repeated a school year
- The student is requesting an additional pass as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody)
- The student has changed their name
- The student is requesting a new transport operator
Eligible students who are progressing to Year 3 and Year 7, only need to reapply if they are changing circumstances.
Students who travel to and from school by bus or train must carry a valid School Opal card with them while ever they are on the bus or train. At the start of each trip, students tap on by placing their Opal card on the card reader. At the end of the trip they tap off by placing their Opal card on an Opal card reader again. Although this is a free pass, you still need to tap on and tap off. School Opal cards are not transferrable and fines may apply for misuse. Each School Opal card is issued to a specific student and has their name printed on the card. If an attempt is made to use a School Opal card for unapproved travel, the Opal card reader will show an error.
Students are expected to be well behaved at all times and particularly so when travelling on public transport.
The following CODE OF CONDUCT has been set down by the Department of Transport and breaches of the Code can result in the withdrawal of travel passes:
- Behave safely at all times.
- Respect the needs and comfort of other passengers.
- Respect bus property by not marking or damaging it.
- Always follow instructions about safety on the bus.
- Tap on and tap off using their School Opal Card for every journey and show their pass when requested.
Students will not:
- Distract the Driver except in an emergency.
- Smoke, eat or drink on the bus.
- Allow any part of their body to protrude from the bus.
- Fight, spit, use offensive language or place their feet on the seats.
- Throw any article inside, or out of, the bus.
- Alter, deface, misuse or fraudulently obtain an Opal card.
- Give, lend or transfer their Opal card to another student.
All students are to behave in a manner that ensures both their comfort and safety and that of other passengers in order to retain their free School Opal card.
- Obey all signage instructions on stations and trains.
- Respect the needs and comfort of other passengers.
- Behave safely at all times (e.g. avoid running or riding bikes, scooters or roller blades on stations and trains, keep off the train lines, keep arms, legs and other body parts inside the train, refrain from touching train doors, safety equipment or any part of a moving train ).
- Use non-offensive language and behave appropriately at all times on rail property (e.g. avoid swearing, spitting, fighting, throwing items; keep feet off seats).
- Protect rail property and report graffiti and vandalism.
- Keep yourself and anything you are carrying clear of aisles, steps, thoroughfares and behind the yellow line on platforms.
- Take your rubbish with you and dispose of it thoughtfully.
- Follow the instructions of station staff, drivers, guards and transit officers.
- Carry your School Opal card during all travel.
- Spread out along the platform so as not to overcrowd one carriage. Avoid boarding carriages that are already overcrowded.
- Allow other passengers to alight before boarding and board the train without delay.
- Move inside the carriage and stand away from the doors during travel.
- Adhere to the rail safety act that bans all commuters from carrying knives, spray cans and permanent marker pens.
- Adhere to the law that bans smoking and drinking alcohol on trains.
PRIVATE VEHICLE CONVEYANCE
Where there is no public transport available (mainly in rural areas) parents can apply for a subsidy towards transporting students to school by private vehicle. To be eligible, travel must be made from home to school or transport pick-up point (e.g. bus stop, railway station) both in the morning and afternoon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if a student loses their School Opal card?
In the event that your child's School Opal card is lost or stolen, report it online at www.apps.transport.nsw.gov.au/ssts/reportPass and order a replacement card and a fee may apply.
What if the School Opal card is damaged?
To report a damaged School Opal card, phone 131 500 or email email@example.com quoting the student’s name, address and school.
Why do students have to tap on and tap off when travelling for free?
Every school day, there are more than 420,000 students travelling for free on public transport. It is essential for all School Opal card holders to tap on and tap off so Transport for NSW can understand customer travel patterns and can adjust the services provided if necessary.
Will the School Opal card work for travel other than between home and school?
No, the School Opal card is only valid for use between home and school on the modes specified in the original application. If an attempt if made to use a School Opal card for unapproved travel the Opal card reader will show an error.
Can value be added to the School Opal card for personal travel?
Value can’t be added to the School Opal card as this is a free travel card. For personal travel, students should use the appropriate Opal card, such as the Child/Youth Opal card.
When will I receive private vehicle conveyance payments?
Payments are made twice a year after the completion of the semester and are based on advice from the school on the number of days that students attended for the semester. Payment is based on the distance between home and the point at which the private conveyance terminates, i.e. the school, bus pick-up point or railway station.
For more information visit: www.opal.com.au
For further bus route information CONTACT
STA - Telephone: 02 4974 1600 www.newcastlebuses.info
Hunter Valley Buses - Telephone: 02 4935 7200 www.cdcbus.com.au
Busways - Telephone: 02 4983 1560 www.busways.com.au
Port Stephens Coaches - Telephone: 02 4982 2940 www.pscoaches.com.au
Rover Coaches - Telephone: 02 4990 1699 www.rovercoaches.com.au