Home to school transport

The Education Authority has a statutory responsibility for the provision of transport assistance to facilitate attendance at a grant-aided school of pupils for whom fees are not paid and who are resident in Northern Ireland. This guide aims to help you navigate the transport application process.

 

FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES - Advice on Transport Assistance for Students

Further Education Transport Guidance

Eligibility for transport assistance is set out in the Department of Education Circular 1996/41, (updated September 2009). The Circular states:-

Where there is a college within statutory qualifying distance (3 miles) from a student's permanent home address and a student attends a more distant college, transport assistance will be provided only where the student has been unable to gain a place in any college within the statutory qualifying distance”

Where there is no college within statutory qualifying distance from a student's home, transport assistance will be granted provided there is EA or Public transport already available to or in the vicinity of the college attended. In cases where there is no transport available, transport assistance may be provided to the nearest college which offers the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for transport assistance to my Further Education Course?

Transport will only be awarded to students who meet the following criteria:-

  • The course followed is a Full-Time Course;
  • The course you are attending is your closest Further Education College
  • Transport assistance is not available for the incoming school session if the students 19th birthday is attained on or before 1st July;
  • The student is not eligible for student loan assessment.

What if the course in my closest college is full and I have to attend a further away college?

If the course you are wanting to study is at full capacity in a closer college you may attend a further away college and provided all other criteria is met you may be entitled to transport assistance. In this instance should you have used the Eligibility Checker indicated the course is available within 3 miles of your home address please change to ‘No’ and continue the process.

If I do not meet the transport assistance criteria can I appeal?

Yes.  You may appeal on the grounds of exceptional circumstances.  To appeal the decision you can contact your local Transport Office on 02895 985959 or alternatively email your appeal into Transport-Appeals@eani.org.uk

Details on the Transport Exceptional Circumstances Policy can be obtained from the website, www.eani.org.uk or by contacting your Local Transport Office on the number above.

If I am eligible for transport assistance to my Further Education Course where is my nearest boarding point?

Translink Services: Queries regarding boarding stages on Translink bus routes should be made to the local Translink depot.  You should contact the Translink Helpline at 02890 666630.  Please do not contact the Authority regarding Translink boarding stages as they will be unable to assist in this area.

Where the journey can be covered by more than one mode of public transport, the maximum assistance will be one sessional pass e.g. one Ulsterbus pass or one NIR pass, not both.  The Authority must consider public expenditure when deciding the most appropriate mode of transport.  If the journey at either end of the nearest boarding/alighting point exceeds the statutory distance the Authority will consider alternative provision.  It should be recognised that in such instances the Authority is unable to consider additional expenditure if there is/are suitable college/s closer to home and transport is available.

What do I do if I incur travel expenses before I receive my pass?

  1. EXPENSES PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF TRANSLINK PASS

Students who have incurred the cost of public service fares whilst awaiting their sessional pass during the months of September and October should make application for reimbursement from Translink as follows:-

  • Metro, Ulsterbus and NIR claims are submitted to Translink, Account Office, Milewater Road, Belfast.  A claim form can be obtained from your local Translink Depot.
  • Any claim for travel expenses must be submitted within 18 working days from the date of issue of the students travel pass.  Used tickets must be retained and submitted with relevant claim form;
  • No refunds from Translink will be accepted for tickets issued after 31 October.
  1. LATE APPLICATIONS – AFTER 31 OCTOBER

Students who make application for transport assistance after 31 October will not have their fares reimbursed unless there has been a delay on the part of the Authority or Translink in processing the application.  Tickets, in respect of these fares paid by the student should be retained and forwarded to the appropriate Local Office of the Authority for refund.

What happens if I lose my Translink pass?

If a student loses a Translink travel pass, a duplicate pass may be purchased from the Translink Pass Office, Please contact: 02890 354074, at a cost determined by Translink and must be accompanied by one passport size photograph.

Additional information:

BEHAVIOUR
The Authority reserves the right to withdraw a student from transport arranged by the Authority, pending investigation, where a student has behaved in an unacceptable manner as outlined in the Authority’s booklet “Procedure for dealing with Behavioural Problems on Public and Education Authority Transport”. A copy of this policy is available on the Authority’s website www.eani.org.uk

WEARING OF SEATBELTS
Students are required by law to wear seatbelts where fitted on all Transport Provision in accordance with seat-belt legislation. 

CCTV
CCTV cameras may be operational on vehicles used to transport students.  For details of the Authority’s CCTV Policy you can download these procedures on the Authority’s website www.eani.org.uk.

FERRY TRAVEL
If travel is required on the Strangford Ferry or Rathlin Ferry this will automatically be processed for you as part of your application to allow for ferry travel.

Do you know that your choice and order of preferences could impact on your child’s eligibility for transport assistance?

***********PLEASE NOTE***********

THE ONLINE TRANSPORT APPLICATION process for new academic year 2020-21 opens for:

  • PRIMARY APPLICATIONS on      Tuesday 12th May 2020 at 12 noon
  • POST PRIMARY APPLICATIONS  on Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 12 noon
Last updated: 25/08/2020