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Apply for a school travel pass or School Opal card

School travel passes can be used for free travel to and from school or TAFE. Depending on where you are travelling, you may receive a free school travel pass, School Opal card or both.

If you have had applied for a student travel pass before you will need a different page:

Things to know before applying

Applications for next year open at the start of Term 4 this year.

You can apply for free school travel for different modes of transport including train, bus, ferry and light rail using the online form.

You only need to apply:

  • if applying for a school travel pass for the first time.
  • if requesting an extra pass due to parents living separately.

The student must:

  • be a resident of NSW, or an overseas student eligible for free government education.
  • be aged 4 years 6 months or older. Pre-school children are not eligible.
  • live a minimum distance from your school. The minimum distance varies according to the year or grade the student is enrolled in that calendar year.

Kindergarten to Year 2 (infants)

  • There is no minimum walking distance for these students.

Year 3 to Year 6

  • The straight line distance from the student's home address to school is more than 1.6km.
  • The walking distance from home to school is 2.3km or further.

Year 7 to Year 12

  • The straight line distance from the student's home address to school is more than 2km, or
  • The walking distance from home to school is 2.9km or further.

TAFE students

  • They are under 18 years of age at 1 January of the year of application.
  • They are enrolled in a full-time TAFE course for a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • They are not employed.
  • The walking distance from home to TAFE is 3.2km or further.
  • They attend the closest TAFE where enrolment is available.

Who can’t get it

Free school travel is available to students who live outside of the following distances from their school. If you live within these distances, the student may still qualify for a School Term Bus Pass.

Before you start the online form

  • Confirm the mode of transport and the transport operators the student will need for travel between home and school.

Completing the form

  • The form needs to be completed in one session, you will not be able to save a partly completed form.
  • You will need a valid email address.
  • Note down your N or UN number.
  • Applications must be made by a parent or legal guardian if the student is under 16 years of age.
  • The student needs to complete and submit the application form if they are 16 years or older.

Apply for a school travel pass

Paper forms

If you don't have access to the internet, you can download and print a paper application form (pdf 1.7MB). Once the paper form is completed and signed, please hand the form to the student's school or TAFE for validation.

Things to know after applying

School Opal Card

School Opal cards are issued by Transport for NSW for free school travel or as a School Term Bus Pass inside Sydney and surrounds. School Opal cards can be accepted on metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services.

Rural and regional students

School Travel Pass

Free school travel passes and School Term Bus Passes are issued by operators to students travelling on buses in rural and regional areas. Some operators in rural and regional areas may choose not to issue passes to students. Please contact the operator directly to find out when and where the student pass will be sent.

The School Opal card is only valid for use between home and school on the transport operators specified in your original application. If you try to use your School Opal card for unapproved travel the Opal card reader will show an error message.

The School Opal card can be used for only one forward and one return Approved Journey per school of college day (as applicable). This does not include school holidays. Transport for NSW uses the official government website to determine school term dates.

The School Opal card can only be used between the hours of 6.30am and 7pm for school students, and 6.30am and 9.30pm for TAFE students.

Trying to tap on or off outside of the above days and times will results in an error message on the Opal reader.

For personal travel, children aged 16 years and under should use a Child/Youth Opal card.