Request paid school transport
If your child does not qualify for free school transport, we can offer spare seats on our contracted transport on a paying basis.
We can only offer vacant seats on our vehicles, which means we may not be able to offer a seat to everyone.
We cannot guarantee how long the seat will be available for, as it may be needed for an eligible child, or a route review may change the number of available seats. If we have to withdraw the paid-for seat, we will give you at least 2 weeks’ notice.
Paying for school transport allows your child to travel from the agreed pick up and drop off point on the existing route to and from school, at the start and end of the normal school day. We cannot divert or add stops to existing routes to accommodate pay seats.
If there are no spare seats we will add you to a waiting list and will contact you if a seat becomes available.
If your child uses school transport and invites a friend home for tea who does not travel on the same bus as your child, the friend would not be able to travel on the bus for safety and insurance reasons.
Paying for school transport
To use school transport on a paying basis, we will send you a pay agreement to complete, which outlines the terms that transport is provided on and you will be told the cost. We subsidise the charges but they do increase every September.
You can pay for transport annually, or the cost can be spread over instalments. You can also pay by monthly direct debit. We ask for payment in advance. Please be aware, as part of the pay seat application, if you choose to pay by the direct debit option you will be consenting to Somerset Council carrying out a full credit check with an independent credit reference agency, which will be recorded, and subject to the result we reserve the right to withdraw this option.
If your child stops travelling during the year, please tell us in writing immediately and you will be refunded any money we owe you.
Once we have received your completed pay agreement and your payment or direct debit mandate, we will make the transport arrangements and tell you the details.
We will reduce the charge if your child has not used the transport for 10 consecutive days because of ill health, but not for holiday absences or non-attendance. To qualify for this reduction, you must tell us about your child’s absence and we will confirm it with the school.
We cannot refund any costs if the vehicle cannot run for reasons beyond our control, such as adverse weather conditions.
If we fail to receive your payment for school transport the transport will stop being provided immediately. Any debts incurred will be passed to our solicitor for retrieval.
Paid seats for September
If you have made an application for a paid seat for a school place from September, we will aim to tell you the outcome before the start of the academic year. But we recommend that you have alternative travel arrangements in place because there is no guarantee that a pay seat will be provided.
Passes will be issued within 6 weeks of the start of the academic year. Passes will be delivered to the school who will distribute them to all new pupils. Until all passes are delivered all operators have been instructed not to refuse travel. The pass will expire at the end of the pupil’s time at the school and should be retained for travel in future academic years. Passes should be carried at all times, even if the driver does not check them daily, because spot checks will be carried out.
If your child’s bus pass is lost or stolen, please see our ‘Request a replacement bus pass’ information.
Reduced rate paid seats
If you receive any of the following benefits, you will be entitled to the reduced rate of transport.
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- The maximum amount of working tax credit
We may require proof of the relevant benefits to make sure your transport fees can be reduced.