School Bus Travel Term 2, 2020

Term 2, 2020 Commencing Tue 26th May 2020

Following announcements by the Premier and schools about school return, we can confirm that in addition to any services currently operating, all pre COVID-19 school services will return on Tuesday 26th May, except for Iona College bus services which will resume on Tue 9th June. In most cases, year levels will return on a phased basis with all students back by June 9th.

No school services will operate on Mon 25th May as this is a student free day.

We have been working as a bus industry with Government on a return to increased passenger loadings, particularly mindful of ensuring student and driver safety.

We have received confirmation from the Victorian Government that public transport is exempt from the broader community social distancing guidelines as it is simply not practical to comply in all situations.  Buses will run to a normal timetable and additional services are not able to be added.  This includes school buses as an important part of the functioning of schools and the broader transport network.

The following summarises our approach which is based on guidance from Vic. Dept of Health, and Safe Work Australia. We will continue with our current COVID-19 practices of:

  • Daily Depot cleaning
  • Daily sanitising and disinfecting of high touch surfaces (handrails, seating areas, myki machine, driver area, and other hard surfaces) in all buses using alcohol-based solutions and disinfectants as appropriate
  • No cash handling
  • Drivers are not to report to work if they are ill.
  • Separation of driver and passengers by keeping the front row of seats empty
  • Drivers being supplied with hand sanitiser
  • Drivers following good cough, sneeze, and hand sanitation practices.
  • Social distancing by all McHarry’s staff in depots

In addition, the following applies to students travelling on board school buses:

  • Students are responsible for maintaining a social distance of 1.5m where possible on board and at stops. Drivers are not required to police social distancing.
  • Students should carry their own supply of hand sanitiser and follow good cough, sneeze, and hand sanitation practices.
  • Students are not to board the bus if they are ill.
  • Drivers are not to refuse travel for COVID-19 related issues but can report issues to us via the normal process so that we can involve schools.
  • Food is not to be consumed on the bus.
  • Drivers and students are encouraged to download the Government’s COVID Safe App.
  • We will work closely with authorities if a student or driver tests positive for COVID-19, who will guide our cleaning, testing and isolation response.

Payment of fares

  • Drivers are no longer handling cash payments.
  • Cash can still be used at myki card vending machines located across the public transport network or your myki can be topped up via the usual methods.
  • Any questions about myki fares or refunds need to be directed to myki.

Wishing you all stay well

The following posters are onboard our buses to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19

Ten ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 on this bus

You can read more here about our COVID-19 response.