Student travel subsidies
Find out more about the scheme, including the entitlements, whether you are eligible, proof of eligibility and how to apply.
The Student Travel Subsidy Scheme provides travel assistance to eligible full-time enrolled school and tertiary students who live in Western Australia to overcome geographical isolation from schools and other educational institutions
About the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme
The Student Travel Subsidy Scheme provides travel assistance to school and tertiary students who are geographically isolated. The two main types of travel support are:
- Subsidised fares for air, bus and train travel for eligible students who live within the defined remote area of Western Australia (see map)
- A road travel subsidy for eligible students who live anywhere within Western Australia but who must be driven in a private vehicle more than 56 km from home to the nearest:
- Appropriate government school with boarding facilities (if boarding facilities are necessary) offering classes in the grade or level in which the student is enrolled, or
- Regular passenger transport (bus stop, airport or train station - please visit the Transwa – Plan Your Journey website for regular passenger transport hubs and routes), or
- A school bus service operating between the student's home and the school they are attending.
To find out about the details of the entitlements of the student travel subsidy scheme, check out the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme entitlements section.
Student Travel Subsidy Scheme entitlements
Subject to scheme conditions, students deemed eligible for student travel subsidies may be entitled to a number of travel supports each academic year:
- 8 round road trips per family under the road travel subsidy.
- 4 return air/bus/train trips for school students under a subsidised fare.
- 4 return air/bus/train trips for first year tertiary students (less than 20 years old) under a subsidised fare who have not claimed previously.
- 3 return air/bus/train trips for first year tertiary students aged less than 20 years of age who have claimed previously.
- 2 return air/bus/train trips for all other tertiary students.
The subsidised fare is limited to the cost of the air/bus/train fare for the most direct route by air/bus/train between the principal family home or usual place of residence and Perth. Any additional cost must be borne by the parent(s).
As the subsidised fare is designed to assist families with the cost of travel to and from the student’s educational institution, travel dates should reflect term / semester dates. Travel dates which lie more than 2 weeks outside the end or start of the relevant secondary or tertiary academic year will only be approved at the Department’s discretion in exceptional circumstances.
The road travel subsidy currently provides a contribution of 25.24 cents per kilometre travelled in a private vehicle, not including the first or the final 56 km of a round trip.
All student travel subsidy entitlements are non-cumulative, meaning unused entitlements from one calendar year cannot be transferred to the next year.
To determine if you are permitted to either of the student travel subsidies, check the eligibility criteria.
|Student travel subsidies policy||Kb|
Regional Airfare Zone Cap
The Regional Airfare Zone Cap is a partnership between the State Government and five airlines: Airnorth, Qantas, Rex, Skippers Aviation and Virgin Australia that caps the cost of air travel at $199 for people living within 1,000 km (by road) from Perth or $299 for people living beyond 1,000 km from Perth.
For more information, please visit the Regional Airfare Zone Cap webpage.
Step 1:Student Travel Subsidy Scheme: Check your eligibility
There are certain criteria which must be met to be eligible to claim subsidised fares (i.e. bus, train or air travel) and/or the road travel subsidy. This section explains who can apply for the student travel subsidies on behalf of a student(s) and the eligibility criteria the applicant and student(s) must meet for the subsidies to be payable.
To be eligible for the student travel subsidies, the student must comply with the following criteria:
- The student must be an Australian citizen or hold a current permanent residency visa.
- The student’s usual place of residence must be in Western Australia (but where they live in Western Australia dictates whether they are eligible for subsidised fares for air, bus or train travel, see below).
- The student must be younger than 26 years of age.
- The student must be dependent on their parent(s) (and the applicant must have primary or joint responsibility for the student's care and support).
- The student must not be receiving Youth Allowance, Austudy (older than 25 years) or ABSTUDY payments from Centrelink.
- The student must be considered to be enrolled full-time in their course or study; and
- If a tertiary student and have had some time between studies, the gap between secondary and tertiary studies must not be longer than 12 months.
The geographic eligibility criteria for subsidised fares for air, bus or train travel means that the family and student(s) must live within the defined remote area of Western Australia (see map).
The road travel subsidy is available to families living anywhere in Western Australia who use a private vehicle to drive students to their educational institution. The level of subsidy payable is based on the distance to the nearest educational institution (i.e. State government school with boarding facilities offering classes in the grade/level in which the student is enrolled) or transport hub (e.g. bus stop, airport, train station or school bus service), whichever is the nearest, but which is more than 56 km one-way from the usual place of residence.
Who is a dependent person?
A student is considered dependent if they live with an adult who is legally responsible (whether alone or jointly with another person) for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the young person.
A young person is not a dependent child of another person (adult), if the other person is the young person's partner, if the young person has a child (natural, adoptive or relationship child) who is wholly or substantially dependent on the young person or is financially self-supported through paid work.
Step 2:Student Travel Subsidy Scheme: Proof of eligibility
The applicant and student(s) is entitled to the student travel subsidies if they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in Step 1. Only students residing in the defined remote area (see map) can receive subsidised fares for air/bus/train travel whereas students residing anywhere in Western Australia may be eligible for the road travel subsidy.
The applicant (usually the parent) is required to complete the registration form for their dependent student child/children. The registration form will be used to assess the eligibility for payments under the student travel subsidy scheme and the applicant must supply two valid forms of identification from the list below:
- Australian passport.
- Permanent residency visa.
- Australian birth certificate.
- Western Australian driver's licence.
If you do not have any of these, you can use:
- A Medicare Card.
- Certificate of Citizenship by Descent.
- An Australian Citizenship Certificate.
- An ImmiCard.
If the applicant does not provide the details of their Western Australian driver's licence as a means of confirming your eligibility they will need to provide a copy of one of the following documents to prove their your residential address:
- Current motor vehicle registration.
- Rates notice.
- Utility account (no more than 3 months old), or
- Electoral enrolment.
A copy of the student’s birth certificate, evidence of permanent residency, Certificate of Citizenship by Descent or WA driver's licence number will also be required upon registration.
Step 3:Register for the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme (ODT55)
To receive subsidised fares for air, bus or train travel, or some reimbursement of the costs of using a private vehicle to drive your child/children more than 56 km one-way to access educational opportunities, you first need to register by completing the Student Registration form (ODT55). Registrations should be made at the start of the school year.
The following information should help you complete the registration form appropriately. Registration forms which are not completed properly or in their entirety will be returned unprocessed, which may delay processing of travel vouchers and/or fare refund applications.
If a child has previously been registered and is still attending the same educational institution that is on the previous registration form, a new registration is not required (for example, if the child has gone from Year 9 to Year 10 at the same school, a new registration form is not required). If a child is changing educational institutions (for example, going from Year 12 at secondary school to first year of university) a new form is required. Eligibility criteria still apply, and the Department of Transport may request proof to confirm a child’s eligibility at any time.
If any of the applicant’s details change at any time, please advise On-demand Transport via email.
What is the usual place of residence?
The usual place of residence is the principal family home and is where:
- The student normally lives or would normally live but for the need to live away to attend school
- Where the student and family normally live during school holidays, and
- Where the applicant (parent)/applicant's partner lives for more than half the calendar year.
Who is a parent?
A parent is defined as:
- A natural, adoptive or foster parent with whom the student normally lives and on whom the child/children is wholly or substantially dependent
- The partner of the student(s) parent with whom the student(s) normally live and on whom the child/children are wholly or substantially dependent
- A legal guardian on whom the child/children is wholly or substantially dependent, or
- Any other adult who has primary or joint responsibility for the student(s) and on whom the child/children is wholly or substantially dependent.
Parent as the applicant:
- If a student normally lives with both parents in the usual place of residence or principal family home, either parent can be Parent 1.
- If the student(s) normally lives with one parent in the usual place of residence, that parent is Parent 1.
- If the student(s) lives with one parent and the parent's partner, the student is also taken to be in the care of the partner and so either the parent or the partner can be Parent 1.
- If the student(s) parents are not co-habiting and the student lives at different times with each parent, Parent 1 is defined as the parent officially recognised as having primary care of the student (e.g. grant of custody, receives majority allocation of Family Tax Benefit, holds a Medicare Card for the student(s), principal financial responsibility for care, etc).
|Map: defined remote area of Western Australia||Kb|
|Student registration: Student travel subsidies (Form ODT55)||Kb|
Step 4:Complete necessary application forms (ODT56 - ODT57)
Travel voucher application or request for refund form (ODT56)
Subsidised fares can be accessed using a travel voucher or by requesting a refund for certain air, bus or train travel costs for eligible students living in the defined remote area (see map).This is the most practical way to ensure ease of booking and little or no out of pocket expenses. Travel vouchers may be requested up to three (3) months prior to the first date of travel. It is strongly recommended that travel voucher applications are submitted no later than one (1) month before the proposed travel.
If an applicant chooses to book and pay for air, bus or train travel rather than applying for a travel voucher, they may apply for a reimbursement by completing form ODT56 and emailing it to OdT Customer Service along with a copy of the e-Ticket or tax invoice, showing the amount paid. Applicants who have not previously applied for a refund, or whose details have changed will also need to submit form ODT58 – Customer account creation/maintenance - travel subsidies form. Completed refund applications must be submitted no later than one (1) month after the last date of travel on the e-Ticket or tax invoice. Refund applications will not be accepted or processed after this time.
Travel voucher and refund applications that are incomplete (including those not formally endorsed by the educational institution) or not received within the timeframes specified, will not be processed.
- A Travel voucher application or request for refund form (ODT56) must be completed for each student.
- For travel by air, the student is entitled to an amount no greater than the best fare of the day (including GST) on the date the travel is booked for the most direct route between the student's principal family home and Perth.
- Additional costs such as booking fees, credit card fees and charges for additional baggage will not be reimbursed.
- Travel is subject to the availability of bookings with the airline. If a booking is not available for the date specified on the travel voucher, the travel date may be changed. However, if the travel date needs to be changed by more than two weeks, the applicant must contact On-demand Transport
- If a trip is cancelled, you must notify On-demand Transport via email immediately so the travel entitlement can be reinstated. Reinstatement of the travel entitlement will depend on the cancellation conditions of the booking.
- The Department of Transport will not pay any fees that result from cancelling or changing travel arrangements, or from not booking early enough.
- The purpose of the scheme is to facilitate travel from the student’s home to school and to ensure the student is able to travel back home to spend time with immediate family. Travel dates must therefore coincide with the start and end of term dates. Travel requests more than two (2) weeks either side of these dates will only be approved at the Departments’ discretion in exceptional circumstances.
- Refund forms must be submitted after the last date of travel.
- Subsidised fares may also be available to escorts of eligible students who, due to disability, are unable to travel alone.
|Application for refund travel voucher: Student travel subsidies (Form ODT56)||Kb|
Application for reimbursement for road travel subsidy (ODT57)
The road travel subsidy is available to families living anywhere in Western Australia who use a private vehicle to drive students to their educational institution and may be applied for by emailing a completed ODT57 form to On-demand Transport Customer Service.
The level of subsidy payable is based on the distance to the nearest educational institution (i.e. State government school with boarding facilities offering classes in the grade/level in which the student is enrolled) or transport hub (e.g. bus stop, airport, train station or school bus service), whichever is the nearest, but which is more than 56 km one-way from the usual place of residence.
To be eligible for the road travel subsidy, the usual place of residence must be more than 56 km one-way from nearest appropriate educational institution or transport service. The distance to the nearest appropriate educational institution or transport service is the shortest practicable route measured from the principal family home to the educational institution or transport service.
The subsidy currently pays 25.24 cents per kilometre travelled in excess of 56 km in one direction (or 112 km for a round trip, i.e. the subsidy does not cover the first or last 56 km of the road trip).
If road travel constitutes part of an overall trip that also includes air, bus or train travel, the applicant should submit form ODT57 and form ODT56 together.
If the applicant only intends to apply for the road travel subsidy, ODT57 can be submitted at the end of the school year when all travel has been undertaken. It is still a requirement to submit a student registration form (ODT55) at the beginning of the school year (Step 3).
- Only completed ODT57 forms, endorsed by the relevant educational institution will be accepted.
- The ODT57 form must be received for processing by 31 January of the following year. For example, refund claims for the 2019 school year must be submitted by 31 January 2020.
- Applicants may be asked to provide evidence the road trips occurred on the dates provided and along the route described, e.g. through provision of fuel receipts and/or GPS.
- If students from more than one family are travelling together, only the parent driving the vehicle may claim the subsidy.
|Application for refund road travel: Subsidy student travel subsidies (Form ODT57)||Kb|
Step 5:Customer account creation/maintenance - travel subsidies form (ODT58)
Form ODT58 is only required when requesting a refund or reimbursement for air/bus/train or road travel costs.
Form ODT58 collects your bank account details for electronic transfer of refund or reimbursements for student travel subsidies.
Applicants only need to complete this form once, unless bank account details change.
Applicants must inform On-demand Transport via email if any of their details change.
|Customer account creation - travel subsidy (Form ODT58)||Kb|
Student Travel Subsidy Scheme: Frequently asked questions
Do I need to complete a new registration form (ODT55) every time I make a travel subsidy claim?
No, you only need to complete the registration form at the beginning of the school year, if your child/children has moved educational institutions. If your details change, however, you must advise On-demand Transport by emailing OdTCustomerService@transport.wa.gov.au.
How do I minimise or eliminate out of pocket expenses when booking travel?
The most practical way to ensure ease of booking and little or no out of pocket expenses, is to access travel vouchers and book travel through CTM directly. Travel vouchers are particularly convenient for student travel as they may be requested up to 3 months prior to travel. It is strongly recommended that travel voucher applications are submitted no later than a month before the proposed travel.
Do staff at the educational institution have to personally affix the school stamp and sign and date the application forms for refund (ODT56 and ODT57) or can it be done electronically by a travel agent or other person?
The educational institution is required to endorse the subsidy claim by providing evidence the student is enrolled at their institution at the time of the claim and confirming that the journey was legitimate travel between home and that institution. Travel agents and/or other persons are not qualified to provide such a guarantee. It is also assumed that approved educational institutions must be familiar with and comply with the legislation regarding endorsement of government subsidy claims. The Department of Transport reserves the right to withhold subsidy payments if the reliability of the endorsement by the educational institution cannot be verified.
I applied for a refund for my child's return flight from Perth to Broome for mid-term break in August. The flight cost $1,770 but the refund was only $1,195. Why was I not eligible for a full refund?
Refunds are capped at the best fare of the day rates offered by the airline. There are very few occasions where the full cost of travel cannot be reimbursed and this generally only occurs when travel has been booked at the last minute or changes have been made to an existing booking.
Travel vouchers can be requested for travel up to three months in advance and are emailed to you directly to book travel at your convenience. The voucher redemption process ensures little or no out-of-pocket expenses for families (except for any discretionary expenses) and is the most practical way to book travel.
My partner and I currently reside and work in Karratha with our children. My children will be attending school in Perth next year and we have decided to rent a house near the school where my partner and children will stay during term time. Are we eligible to claim travel subsidies for the flights back to Karratha during the holidays?
No, if the student primarily resides with a parent in the town/city where he or she attends an educational institution, they are not eligible to receive travel subsidies.
I live in the defined remote area and my ex-partner (parent 2) resides in Perth. My child is attending school in Perth and will reside with parent 2 during the school term. Is my child able to access the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme to travel to my home in school holidays?
No. The Student Travel Subsidy Scheme provides travel assistance to eligible full-time enrolled school and tertiary students who live in the Defined Remote Area (DRA) of Western Australia to overcome geographical isolation from schools and other educational institutions. If a child is able to reside with a parent who does not live in a DRA, that child is not eligible for the scheme.
My child flies home from school in Geraldton via Perth to Kununurra. Can he spend a few days in Perth with family first before flying on to Kununurra?
The purpose of the student travel subsidies is to reduce the amount of time children are outside parental supervision when travelling between home and school. Student travel subsidies may not be used to cover travel costs associated with family holidays and/or extended family visits, even in those instances where the student is required to travel enroute via Perth.
My son who is attending university in Perth will be flying home to Broome for Christmas and New Year, but will travel back to Perth early January as he has casual employment there. Can he access the travel subsidy for these trips?
Yes, for the trip home, assuming other criteria has been met. As the trip back to Perth is for the purpose of employment, not education, and is more than two (2) weeks before the start of the university year, this trip is not eligible. However, if the student was travelling back to Perth more than two (2) weeks before the start of the university year for mandatory vacation courses, confirmed by the university, this trip may be eligible. Where a travel request is not approved, this will not affect the number of eligible trips the student is entitled to for the year.
Student travel subsidies contacts
|Service Type||Suburb||Business Name||Phone number||Phone number (secondary)||Fax||Pre-booking required||Business Hours||Street address||Postal address||Business Type||Vehicle type||Comments|
|Student travel subsidies||Student Travel Subsidy Scheme||1300 660 147||No||Monday to Friday 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. (excludes public holidays)||OdTCustomerService@transport.wa.gov.au||P.O. Box C102, Perth WA 6839||Department of Transport|