Skip to content

Young persons' free bus travel scheme

With the introduction of free bus travel for young people aged 5 to 21 from 31 January 2022, please note that we are still providing the subsidised transport scheme.  

Invoices will require to be paid for transport for school term 2021/22 up to June 2022.

By retaining our dedicated subsidised service we are continuing to offer parents a choice in the matter, as well as providing peace of mind. Our subsidised provision guarantees young people a seat on dedicated transport and ensures they get to and from school at the relevant times.

However, if you wish to cancel your subscription for this service you must return your photo ID pass to the school reception and they, in turn, will inform the School Transport Section who will arrange cancellation of the account from the date of return of the pass.

Please note: Returning the subsidised pass will mean that your child is no longer able to access the dedicated school transport service and will require to use the local public service with their National Entitlement Card.

Application notes for parent and carers

You do not require to submit a new application if your child received free school transport for school term 2022/23 due to:

  • staying more than one and half miles from primary school
  • staying more than three miles from secondary school
  • safety reasons, there being no suitable walking route

Your child will remain registered for free transport until the end of their P7 year or S6 year.

New applications

You should submit a new application for: 

  • new P1 pupils who require transport for 2023/24
  • new S1 pupils who require transport for 2023/24

Applications for subsidised school transport (for pupils who stay between one and a half and three miles from their catchment secondary school) are required to be completed on an annual basis.

Apply online

If your child requires transport to school from August 2023, you can apply online using the form below.

Please note that before applying you will need to register for an Our East Ayrshire account, if you do not already have one. 

Apply for school transport 

Free school transport

We will provide free transport for:

  • primary pupils who live one and a half miles or more from their local primary school (by the recognised shortest suitable walking distance)
  • secondary pupils who live three miles or more from their local secondary school (by the recognised shortest suitable walking distance)

This policy remains more generous than that prescribed by statute and may be reviewed at any time.

Free transport may also be available on the grounds of a medical condition or in cases where a family has moved house at a critical stage of education.

For more information download the free school transport leaflet (PDF 490Kb).

If you feel your child qualifies for free school travel and you wish to take advantage of this option, please fill in the school transport online application form.

Subsidised transport service

This service is under review

The East Ayrshire Council Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 28 June 2023 agreed to the continuation of the subsidised school transport service in its present form until the concerns and issues that have been raised around the paper have been addressed in full.

In the new term, wider consultation on the proposals around subsidised transport will commence fully, alongside the continuation of the ongoing promotion of active travel across East Ayrshire. 

The Education Service has issued a  letter to parents and carers (East Ayrshire Newsroom) in relation to this via the School App.

This service is available to secondary school pupils who live between one and a half and three miles from their catchment area school. Pupils can be registered for this service on an annual basis and there are various methods available for payment over the year.

For more information download the subsidised transport scheme (PDF 155Kb).

The closing date for applications is Friday 28 July 2023. Any applications received after this date cannot be guaranteed to be in place for the 21 August 2023.

If you feel your child qualifies for subsidised transport and you wish to take advantage of this option, please fill in the school transport online application form.

Please note that National Entitlement Cards will not be accepted on the dedicated School Transport as they are not a registered Public Transport Service. Charging for the Subsidised School Transport Service still applies, providing parents peace of mind of direct home to school transport for their child.

Privileged seat availability

Subsidised privileged seats may be available if there is spare capacity on existing school transport contracts.

For more information  download the privileged seat scheme (PDF 238Kb).

If you feel your child qualifies for a privileged seat and you wish to take advantage of this option, please fill in the school transport online application form.

Should your child suffer an injury that results in a short-term requirement for transport to and from school, it may be possible to arrange this. In the first instance, please contact your child's school. Please note that a letter from their doctor may be required. 

Contact Information


School Transport Section
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone: 01563 576334