Bus Transport to Whittlesea Secondary College
Students at State and registered schools may be permitted to travel on a school bus service subject to the conditions set out in the Education Regulations, 1988. It should be noted that permission to travel on a school bus is a privilege and not a right. Permission to travel may be withdrawn if a student’s behaviour is unsatisfactory or if the appropriate fare has not been paid. All students who live closer to Whittlesea Secondary College than another State Secondary College are entitled to free bus transport, except where public transport is the only means of transport. Senior students (Years 11 and 12) whose closest College does not offer two of their preferred subjects can apply for free travel.
Students who reside in the following areas are entitled to free transport to the College: Arthurs Creek (to the east of the creek), Flowerdale (South of Forest Road), Humevale, Kinglake, Kinglake West, Kinglake East, Woodstock and Yan Yean.
Students who reside in the following areas are NOT entitled to free transport to the College, they become fare payers unless they are senior students and apply to the College for exemption on curriculum grounds: Bylands, Broadford, Craigieburn, Clonbinane, Epping, Diamond Creek, Hurstbridge, Midhurst, Mernda, Doreen, Laurimar, Kalkallo, Mill Park, South Morang, Wollert. These students are expected to use a MYKI card if MYKI card facilities are available on the bus. Students from Beveridge, Darraweit Guim, Heathcote Junction, Wandong, Hidden Valley, Kilmore, Donnybrook (east of railway line), Upper Plenty and Wallan are NOT entitled to free transport. Families are invoiced and fares for these buses are paid directly to Whittlesea Secondary College.
Access to the school bus network for fare payers may only exist if there is surplus capacity on the bus route.
Fare Payers fall into three categories:
1. Students who access the public buses. These students can purchase a daily, weekly or other MYKI card.
2. Students who live SOUTH of the College in areas such as Laurimar, Epping, Mill Park and South Morang. These students will be required to purchase a MYKI half-yearly or yearly card. This is a requirement of the Public Transport Victoria whose responsibility includes the provision of transport services to schools across the state. This ticket will enable the student access to all MYKI transport seven days a week. Tickets can be purchased from any train station. Conveyancing allowance is available to eligible students who travel on the Laurimar bus route. Please refer to the following link for the application form and due dates: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/management/schooloperations/studenttransport.htm
Please use the public transport application form.
3. Students who live NORTH of the College in areas such as Wallan, Upper Plenty, Hidden Valley, Wandong, Kilmore and Clonbinane.
These students are classified as ‘Country Zone Travellers’ and the fare is to be paid directly to the College. The College will invoice parents if the required amount is not paid in advance.
The 2019 fare is $240.00 for a half-year or $480.00 for a full year per student.
To travel on public transport with a student concession all students must carry a Department of Transport student concession Card. Half-Yearly Student Passes usually expire on 31 July, Second Half-Yearly Student Passes go on sale on 1 July and Yearly Student Passes usually expire 28 February following year. The application form can be found at any railway station.
School Bus Emergency Management
Whittlesea Secondary College is not on the high risk register for bushfires (this means that Whittlesea Secondary College does not close on Code Red Days). Many of our students, however, do travel to and from school through areas that are considered to be high risk. The College considers the safety of our students a priority and will endeavour to keep parents informed at all times of any potential dangers regarding Code Red days.
Forecast Emergencies: Pre-emptive arrangements will come into force when a trigger based on the Fire Danger Rating (FDR) level – Code Red is reached. The potential for school closures and school bus service cancellations as a result of a Code Red Day will be flagged up to three days in advance and confirmed eighteen hours beforehand. Buses will not operate in or near an area determined by the regional director as high risk in consultation with the relevant external emergency service agencies.
In forecast emergency situations the school will be advised on the appropriate action with regards to planning and preparedness from DET. In the lead up to the day of the forecast emergency the school will communicate with parents via SMS and written notification of possible cancellations or changes to routes of school bus services.
Rapid Onset Emergencies: Whittlesea Secondary College is the coordinating school for Whittlesea Primary School and St Mary’s Primary School. The coordinating Principal will make all decisions regarding bus situations in a rapid onset emergency.
In the event of a Rapid Onset Emergency that impacts or has the potential to impact school bus services, those services will be cancelled. No bus routes will be modified unless directed by emergency services in consultation with the regional director and the Emergency Management Centre.
A Rapid Onset Emergency may impact and threaten the safety of a school or bus service, which means that immediate action will need to be taken. There are three situations when a rapid onset emergency may threaten the safety of a school bus service:
- · Students affected while at school
- · Students affected en route
- · Bus routes affected overnight or before school.
Students Affected While At School: If bus services are affected by a rapid onset emergency, the coordinating principal will take responsibility for decisions affecting the School Bus Program and transport operations.
All services on affected bus routes and those that may potentially be affected will be cancelled in full. Buses with students on board must not leave the school without the approval of the principal.
All students on affected services will be held at the school until parents/guardians are able to arrange collection of their child/children.
Students affected en route: If the bus service encounters a danger en route to or from school, the bus driver assumes responsibility for emergency management to ensure the safety of all passengers and makes decisions where practicable with guidance from the coordinating principal.
If fires are burning in the area, bus drivers must not allow students to alight from buses unless parents/guardians are waiting for them at a designated bus stop. If no-one is waiting, buses will take students back to the school if it is practical and safe to do so, or to the nearest safe area with guidance provided by the coordinating principal.
If the road is blocked, the bus driver should return to the school if it is practical and it is safe to do so, or travel to an area deemed to be safe as directed by emergency services personnel.
Bus Services Affected Overnight Or Before School: If an emergency arises overnight or before school hours that affects the operation of a service, the coordinating principal makes the decisions regarding route cancellation with advice from the regional office.
Schools will contact the families of all affected students to avoid them waiting at stops where services have been cancelled.
Safety of human life takes priority at all times when determining transport arrangements.