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The Queensland Government is now in caretaker mode until after the state election. Minimal updates will be made to this site until after the election results are declared.

School travel options

As a parent, you are responsible for getting your children to and from school. You can do this by:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • carpooling
  • catching public transport (a bus, train or ferry).

Walking to school

Benefits of walking

Walking to school:

  • keeps your children healthy (it helps to prevent chronic disease)
  • supports children’s sense of independent mobility
  • improves children’s mood and wellbeing
  • reduces air pollution, noise pollution, traffic and our reliance on fossil fuels
  • is free.

Safety tips for walking

If your child is in primary school, walk with them until they are confident. Once they feel confident and safe, try to find a friend from their school they can walk with.

Teach your child:

  • the safest route to school (for example, through suburban streets)
  • what to be cautious of on their journey (such as blind intersections)
  • to only cross the street on the green ‘walk’ traffic sign or at a pedestrian crossing
  • to always walk on the footpath or nature strip, or if that’s not possible, on the road facing the oncoming traffic
  • how to look for vehicles when crossing a street, road or driveway (look right, left, then right again)
  • not to play with toys or sports equipment while they walk (in case items fall, bounce or roll onto the road)
  • to listen to the school crossing supervisor
  • what to do in an emergency—it’s a good idea to have them carry a mobile with emergency numbers on speed dial
  • to wear a hat, sunscreen and comfortable, supportive shoes.

Cycling to school

Benefits of cycling

Cycling to school:

  • keeps your children healthy (it helps to prevent chronic disease)
  • improves your children’s mood and wellbeing
  • increases your children’s energy levels
  • supports children’s sense of independent mobility
  • improves your children’s concentration and sleep
  • strengthens your children’s muscles
  • reduces air pollution, noise pollution, traffic and our reliance on fossil fuels
  • gets your children to school quickly
  • is free.

Safety tips for cycling

If your child is in primary school, ride with them until they are confident. Once they have the skills and feel safe, try to find a friend from their school they can ride with.

Teach your child:

  • the safest route to school (such as on a bike path or through suburban streets)
  • to ride on the left side of the road, at least 1 metre from the curb (if they are in high school and feel comfortable), or on the footpath (if they are in primary school or not confident at cycling)
  • to try and stay 1 metre behind vehicles or bikes in front of them
  • to wear their helmet correctly (so that it cannot move back or forward when they move their head)
  • the bike road rules
  • to wear bright coloured clothing when riding
  • to avoid being followed closely by vehicles
  • that they shouldn’t ever ‘double’ their friends
  • to ride with a maximum of 2 cyclists side by side
  • what to do in an emergency—it’s a good idea to have them carry a mobile with emergency numbers on speed dial
  • to use hand signals to let others know where they are going and what they are doing
  • how to lock their bike up securely.

Bike paths

Bike paths, separated paths and shared paths provide a safe way for you and your children to ride to school. These paths are tracks for cyclists and pedestrians only—they keep you and your children away from all motor vehicle traffic. They are particularly a good idea if you or your children are learning to ride. There are many bike paths in Queensland—particularly in South East Queensland and Cairns.

View bike path information and locations.

Carpooling to school

Benefits of carpooling

Sharing the driving with other parents reduces the number of cars on the road and amount of traffic around your child’s school. Carpooling can also save you money (such as costs from petrol and car maintenance).

Safety tips for carpooling

When you set up a car pool:

  • meet the other parents in the carpool before the first pick up or drop off
  • exchange contact details with the other parents so that you can contact each other in an emergency
  • make back up plans with the other parents (in case you or your child is ever sick)
  • make sure each potential driver has a valid driver licence and a car in safe, working order
  • make sure each potential driver knows the rules for driving with children and has the correct child restraints (such as booster seats).

Catch public transport to school

Benefits of catching public transport

Catching a bus, train or ferry can be a fast and safe way for your children to travel to school.

Many schools have a dedicated school bus service. Contact your children’s school to find out if a school bus service is a travel option for your children.   

Find bus, train and ferry timetables and maps.

Find out more about school tickets and fares.

Safety tips for catching public transport

If your child is in primary school, walk them to and from their bus stop, train station or ferry terminal until they are confident to do it alone. You should always meet them at the actual stop—never across the road.
Teach your child:

  • which bus, train or ferry to catch and where to get on and off it (write it down for them)
  • to have their go card ready before the bus, train or ferry comes (if applicable)
  • to stand back from the side of the road or platform when the bus, train or ferry comes
  • to wait for the bus, train or ferry to stop before getting on or off it
  • to respect the driver and the other passengers
  • not to distract the driver (for example, by calling out or being too loud)
  • to keep their body inside the bus, train or ferry at all times
  • to wait for the bus to drive away before crossing the road.

See the school students on public transport code of conduct for more tips and information.

Financial assistance and concession cards

Transport assistance schemes help students who find it difficult to get to their school due to distance, disability or cost.

TransLink, Queensland Rail and local bus operators offer discounted passes for primary school and high school students for their travel to and from school.

Find out more about school transport assistance schemes and student concessions.


Riding your bike to school?

When you ride to school, you must follow all of the general road rules as well as extra rules specific to cyclists.

Make sure you know the bicycle road rules before you set out.

Last updated
30 May 2013
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