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How to get your child ready to get the bus in South Yorkshire

01 Sep 2017

The first time your child gets the bus on their own - it’s a big day for both of you! They might be excited about the new adventure but they could also be just as anxious as you! But worry not; we make bus travel simple for children and parents alike!

Get ahead before September starts with these top tips on getting your child (and you!) ready for their next adventure…

1. Don’t catch the last bus!

Everyone wants a bit longer in bed in the morning, which means that the later the bus, the more likely it is to be over-crowded! Beat the rush and give your child a better chance of getting a seat by aiming to get them on board the second-to-last bus or if possible, earlier!

By using the journey planner on the Stagecoach Bus App or online you’ll get a selection of travel options for your chosen journey so you can easily find the bus you need.

2. Get your travel card early

Have you got your child's megatravel pass yet? In South Yorkshire, all children over 11 need a megatravel pass to be eligible for an 80p single fare , but don’t panic - these cards are free and you can get them now from Travel South Yorkshire. Without this card, your child won’t get to take advantage of the discounted child fare and will risk having to pay the full adult fare for their journey.

children on bus

3. Make sure you get the best value ticket 

Stagecoach has lots of different travel options so be sure to check you are getting the best value ticket for your child. With a megatravel card, your child can get an 80p single fare, but if they are taking more than one bus each way it could work out cheaper to get a weekly or 28 day travel ticket. Your child can travel across the whole of South Yorkshire on the bus and tram for just £7 with a child megarider ticket, or you can buy 28 day ticket online for just £26, giving you huge savings on daily travel.

4. Be smart – get a smart card

Our weekly and 28 day bus and tram tickets come on a StagecoachSmart card, which is a reusable plastic card that fits safely in a purse or wallet. When you buy a weekly ticket on the bus you’ll need to pay 50p for your first smart card, but then it’s yours to keep and top up - or you can get your smart card for free when you buy a ticket online.  No more accidentally-washed paper tickets or tickets lost in the bottom of bags or pockets!

5. Make life easier by paying ahead

Always spending Monday morning rummaging in your bag for change for your child’s bus fare? Make life easy and pay monthly! Our recurring megarider tickets not only give you discount compared to our weekly tickets, but they automatically renew every month so you never have to think about bus fare again! Plus if your child loses their ticket (it happens!) we can replace it for you. Find out more about our recurring Xtra tickets on our website.

6. Get practising

Getting the bus alone for the first time can be pretty nerve-wracking, so make sure you and your child get plenty of practice knowing when to get on and off the bus or tram before school starts. There’s a lot to remember when getting the bus: getting to the stop with enough time, flagging down the bus, asking for a ticket, showing a ticket or scanning a smart card, showing your megatravel pass, finding a seat, knowing when to get off the bus and pressing the button in time. That’s a lot to do if you’ve never done it before, but soon it will become second nature! Make sure you take your child out on a few trips to become familiar with the route and don’t forget – are staff are always on hand to help. 

7. Take the fuss out of bus travel

If your child has a smartphone, make sure they have the Stagecoach Bus App. They can use this to find out what time their bus is and how often it comes using the journey planner, and for extra confidence, they can even check what time their bus will arrive by tracking their bus in real-time. You can save their home and school locations on the app for easier journey planning as well as their bus stop, most-used buses and journeys.

Make sure you have the app too so you can make sure you know of any disruptions that might affect their journey and get peace of mind with live times knowing that their bus has arrived and they’re safely on their way!

We wish you pleasant and safe travel with us and look forward to welcoming you on board.

Find out more about travel in South Yorkshire