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Group travel and school excursions

If you are planning to travel in a group you can either join a standard service or organise to charter a bus or coach.

Large groups should plan ahead and allow plenty of travel time on the day.

Groups and excursions can plan and track their services with the trip planner and transport apps.

Ticketing and reserving seats

Each person travelling in your group will need their own Opal card.

Plan ahead and ensure everyone has enough balance on their Opal card to cover their fare before boarding the train, bus, ferry or light rail.

It is not possible to reserve seats for large groups on the Opal network and it is not guaranteed your group will be able to board specific services.

In regional NSW, seat reservations and group bookings can be made on NSW TrainLink Regional train and coach services.

Bookings can be made:

  • on the NSW TrainLink website
  • by calling 13 22 32
  • through a sales agent.

For local bus services or to charter a bus, contact the local transport operator.

Tips for planning and travel on the day

If your group plans to travel on a regular bus service, it is best to avoid peak travel times as buses often reach capacity.

Peak times are generally Monday to Friday, 7am - 9am and 4pm - 6:30pm.

You may need to consider splitting into smaller groups and be prepared to stand if seats are full.

It is recommended that you contact Sydney Trains in advance to assist with your travel plans.

Send your information through the Sydney Trains excursions form and you will contacted by a Sydney Trains staff member.

Special event days and school holidays can be busy and popular ferry services fill up quickly.

Sydney Ferries cannot guarantee passage on a specific service and it is recommended that you arrive early to the wharf.

Keep in mind, ferry services can also be delayed and cancelled.

For information about group travel on Sydney Ferries, email groups@harbourcityferries.com.au

For group travel on the private ferry services in Sydney and around NSW, contact the local transport operator.

For group travel on the Stockton Ferry, contact Newcastle Ferries on 02 4974 1160.

Large groups should be prepared to split up into smaller groups as services can often reach capacity.

Light rail services run frequently so your group will not need to wait too long for the next service.

To find out more about chartering a bus, contact your local transport operator.

If you need help locating a charter bus service for your desired route, contact 131 500.

School excursions

When travelling as a group for school excursions, please ensure there is a minimum of one teacher or carer for every:

  • five pre-school aged children or infants
  • 20 primary or secondary school children.

Children aged three years and under travel free.

Each child and adult in the excursion group requires their own Opal card.

Child/Youth Opal cards are for personal travel including school excursions using public transport.

Schools are encouraged to ask parents to provide their child with a Child/Youth Opal card prior to school excursions. It is important to ensure there are sufficient funds on each card to cover the excursion travel expenses.

School Opal cards are for travel to and from school on school days only. School Opal cards do not include travel to school excursions, after-school care, sport and other activities away from school.

Schools can also have additional topped up Child/Youth Opal cards for students who have forgotten or lost their Opal card, or have insufficient funds to travel.

Adults travelling with the student group will need to use their own Opal card.

Students aged 16 years and older must carry their NSW/ACT Senior Secondary Student concession card. These are issued by the school as proof of concession entitlement.

Schools should contact their local transport operator for school excursion travel and ticketing information outside the Opal network and in regional NSW.

Larger groups should be prepared and not expect to travel together on one train.

  • Arrive at the station 20 minutes before departure time.
  • If more than one group is travelling on the same train, ensure groups are spread throughout all carriages.
  • It is essential that carers and teachers assist station staff with boarding students as quickly as possible onto trains so as to avoid delaying the train.
  • Teachers and carers are asked to maximise the number of children per seat on the train.

If departing from a train station within the Sydney Trains network, send your information at least three weeks in advance via the Sydney Trains excursions form and you will contacted by a Sydney Trains staff member.

Schools can charter buses for school excursions.

  • To find out more about chartering a bus, contact your local transport operator.
  • Use the charter booking form to book State Transit services only.
  • If you need help locating a bus operator that provides charter service in a particular area or route, contact 131 500.