Unfortunately, the incidence of fare evasion by school students has increased in recent times. Some students have exploited the framework for safe travel of school students by not paying the correct fare, thinking that they will not be refused travel. Stakeholders need to work collaboratively to make sure that it is clear that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. There are clear consequences outlined in these guidelines for students deemed to be in breach of the Code and fare evasion would generally be considered a Category 1 (irresponsible) breach of the Code. In deciding the consequences for a particular breach, the bus operator follows the processes outlined in the Code which include referring to the bus driver’s report and consulting with parents/carers and the relevant school. It is important for the integrity of the Code, and public transport services generally, that appropriate consequences apply to students who are not prepared to pay for the service.
Code of conduct
More than 150,000 Queensland students travel to school by bus every day. To keep other passengers and bus drivers safe and comfortable, all school students are required to comply with the Code of Conduct for School Students Travelling on Buses (PDF, 904KB). Supporting the Code of Conduct is the Safe Travel of School Students Guiding Principles (PDF, 665KB).
The code sets out the expected behaviour of students while travelling on the bus and the consequences for breaching the code and provides a framework to manage student misconduct. The guiding principles reinforce the roles and responsibilities of bus operators, parents, schools and other stakeholders who play a key role in the safe travel of school students. They encourage stakeholders to collaborate to ensure students are educated on the code of conduct and to work together to identify and address issues as they arise.
The code, revised in 2013/2014, and guiding principles are initiatives of the Bus Safety Committee chaired by the Assistant Minister for Transport and including representatives from key government agencies, the bus industry, a union, and school parent groups. The non-government school was also involved in the review of the code of conduct.