The ultimate guide on how to catch a bus in Australia for international students

The ultimate guide on how to catch a bus

While catching a bus is a simple thing as it is but there are few things you should be mindful of when catching a bus in Australia. This guide cover details regarding everything you should know about catching a bus and having a pleasant journey in Australia. Here are the details:

Planning a Trip

A guide on how to catch a bus in Australia for international students

It all starts with planning your journey before even you travel. It is important to understand the timetables, nearest bus stop and the routes bus may travel before you decide to get on one. We suggest you to check timetables by:

  • downloading an app for your local bus/transport service in your city.
  • visiting their website.
  • getting a printed copy of the timetable from the local stations or sometimes even in the bus itself.
  • checking the timetable at the bus stop as well.
  • calling the hotline of the service provider.

Boarding the bus

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Once you know the timetable and the route, we suggest you to follow these instructions

  • Always be at your bus stop at least 5 mins prior to the bus arrival time
  • Be sure that you can see the driver and driver can see you at the stop
  • If boarding, wave at the bus driver to stop the bus
  • Always let other passengers get out of the bus first before boarding
  • If you need assistance, ask the driver to lend you a hand
  • Some buses can be lowered down for meeting the needs of disabled and wheelchairs ramps are also available in most buses
  • If the bus doesn’t stop, there is a possibility that the next one is coming in a few mins only

Recognising your bus

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You can find out whether the approaching bus is the one you need to board by looking at the number and the destination displayed, usually, above the windscreen. This display shows the route number and the destination of that bus route.

If you are still unclear or there is no display of the route and the number, it is better to ask the bus driver by waving at it to stop.

Paying the fare

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It is important to pay your fare while travelling on any public transport in Australia including buses. Fare evasion is an offense in Australia and you can get the penalty for not paying the fare.

Usually, the fares are charged based on the distance you travel from point A to B. If you are paying by your transport card (ticket), then make sure you have enough balance in your card before travelling.

If paying by the cash, just remember these things:

  • Always bring correct change
  • Tell your driver about the fare you want and
  • Be ready to show your student or concession card

Understanding the ticketing system

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Every state and territory have their own public transport ticketing system. In some areas, you can get away by paying cash for your fare to the driver while others you may need a card to pay the fares.

We have an infographic that tells you about the public transport ticketing system used in various cities in Australia here.

While concessions are available to all overseas students in most of the Australian cities. Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne have a restricted transport concession for overseas students. Please check the list of transport authorities to see if you are eligible to get a travel concession in your city. Links are given below.

Disabled and priority access

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Most of the buses have a facility to accommodate the needs of the disabled, pregnant and travellers with children. So if you have a need to travel with pram, wheelchair, scooter, you will be welcomed to travel in the bus.

Most of the bus drivers are well trained and friendly and will be happy to accommodate any specific disability or access needs as well. Always follow the instructions of the driver in order to ensure your safety and safety of others.

Getting off the bus

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Once you are approaching your stop, you will usually need to press the button in order to let the bus driver know to stop the bus. If you have to touch off your cards or tickets, make you sure you do that before getting off.

Bus drivers are not allowed to stop the bus other than the designated stops. We suggest you to keep seating until the bus comes to a complete stop. Once you get off the bus, don’t attempt to cross the road in front or behind the bus.

Health & Safety

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Yours, other passengers and the bus driver’s health and safety is of prime importance. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when travelling on a bus in Australia:

  • There are CCTV cameras installed across all the buses in Australia
  • In case of emergency, there are safety exit doors available to safely escape
  • There is usually a fire extinguisher close to the driver’s seat in case of fire
  • Make sure to hold on to railing especially when standing in the bus as sudden braking might be required in certain situations
  • Always let other passengers get out of the bus first before boarding
  • Bus drivers are well trained in handling various difficult situations
  • If you feel threatened or unsafe, report that to the bus driver
  • If it is an emergency situation, please call 000 from your phone as soon as possible
  • Don’t eat or drink in the bus. It is even an offence to eat and drink in certain cities and you can get a fine for that as well.
  • Drinking water is allowed though.

Lost and Found Property

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If you lost something on any public transport including buses, it is best to contact the customer service office to get assistance. Lots of time people who find the lost property, give it back to the bus drivers or customer service officers at the stations. You can arrange to collect that item once found.

Same goes for it when you find someone’s property. You can give it back to bus driver or customer service officers at your nearest station.

Where to get more information

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If you need more information or need to contact your local transport authority, you can find each of them given below:

Australian Capital Territory

https://www.transport.act.gov.au/

New South Wales

https://transportnsw.info/

Northern Territory

https://nt.gov.au/driving/public-transport-cycling

Queensland

https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/public/transport

South Australia

https://southaustralia.com/plan-your-trip/getting-here-and-around/

Tasmania

https://www.metrotas.com.au/

Victoria

https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/

Western Australia

https://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/

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