Student Passes

Page last modified/checked: Wednesday, 01 June, 2005

Commencing with the school year in 1984, a new series of tickets known as "Student Passes" was provided. These first went on sale from 4th January. Student Passes were issued based on the neighbourhood in which the holder lived, not the location of their school. In comparison to the adult periodical tickets, student passes were based directly on how the neighbourhood fare structure worked and therefore the range was much more simplified and consisted essentially of three types of passes as follows:

10 individual neighbourhood passes The inner neighbourhood pass was the more expensive. The others were identically priced.

10 neighbourhood plus passes These were the same price as the individual neighbourhood passes (the difference being subsidised by the State Government) but were provided for direct travel to students whose school was outside of their home neighbourhood.

Rail Plus 2 (Train) or 2 section (Tram or Bus) Passes These were the lowest priced of the range. The points between which they were valid were written on the front of the pass.

Student passes were available to primary and secondary students as well as certain TAFE (Tertiary and Further Education) students studying curriculums classified as year 12 equivalent. This ended the previous "cost based on age" formula for student travel.
The passes were sold to cover

- The first term, expiring in early May
- The second term, expiring mid/late August
- The third term, expring December 31st
- There was also a yearly pass

In 1987, Victoria adopted a four term school year bringing it into line with some other states. The term-based passes were abolished and replaced by first and second half, 6-Monthly passes. The yearly passes remained. The dates between which student passes ran always overlapped school holiday periods, and they always went on sale in advance of the following term or year with an expiry date of 30th June (first half) and 31st December (second half and yearly) of each year. From 1985, student passes went on sale in December, but by 1989 this had changed to mid-January. The 1989 issues also advanced the date of expiry so that the first 6 monthly expired on the 31st August 1989, whilst the second 6 month and yearlies both expired on the 28th February 1990. This enabled students to return to school after the mid and end of year breaks with a still-valid ticket.

Student passes were available for unlimited travel in the home neighbourhood at all times. Neighbourhood Plus passes were only available until 1pm on Saturdays within the adjoining neighbourhood(s), and not at all on school holidays. These restrictions also applied to the rail plus 2 and 2 section passes. Over time, the wording and information in the application form for student passes was much improved - important given that it was frequently parents who had to decipher what they were paying for.

The following is a selection of passes covering their six years of issue and a mixture of types. The colour of the printing was changed each term. Note: The students names have been removed for privacy.

The rail plus 2 and 2 section passes were always printed on white card and the box on the neighbourhood plus passes was also white. In 1989, these all appeared with a pale security print background that read "The Met" repeatedly (as seen at left).

V/Line - M.T.A Student Passes.

The 1985 ticket checkers manual indicates that the metropolitan neighbourhood plus student passes were also supplied to railway stations outside the neighbourhood fare zones. (It actually uses Geelong and Drouin as examples). These passes were for the benefit of students who lived in one of the interurban commuter rail corridors but attended school within one of the metropolitan neighbourhoods. The name of the issuing station was written in the box on the front of the pass and it was available for unlimited rail travel from that point to any station within the neighbourhood it was issued to, as well as the use of trams and buses. These passes differed at first, in not having the price on the front. The Inner plus pass would doubtless have been the most commonly used in this arrangement but the Werribee, St Albans, Broadmeadows and Dandenong plus passes are also likely contenders. We have never seen used examples of any of these passes, nor any further information on their existance.

Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne Student Passes.

By at least 1988, printed student passes had been supplied due to the growing demand of students travelling to private schools in the Essendon area from the Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne regions. These unused examples are the earliest known to us. When issued, the word "Inner" would have to be written in the space provided to identify their ultimate availability. They are St. Albans plus issues, as this neighbourhood was the point of entry into the metropolitan fare structure.

Student Concession Cards

From 1984, the Ministry of Transport provided two types of photo based identification cards to metropolitan school students. Their main purpose was to allow the holder a recognised and indisputable means of obtaining suburban concession transport tickets. The Primary/Secondary card was issued free to those under 15 years; and at a cost of $1.00 to those 15 years and over, up to year 12. A concession card had to be held to purchase a student pass; both being carried together in a plastic wallet.

The tertiary concession cards were more costly and went on sale from 20 February 1984 at $20.00 per term or $50.00 per year. These were available to full time students at University, Institutes of Technology, secretarial courses, etc., allowing them to purchase concession metropolitan travel tickets.

All of the above cards were initailly only available through the MTA City Concession Office but from 1985 a dedicated application form was provided for both types and could be presented at up to 70 suburban stations, all tram depots and selected bus depots. Forms had to be signed by the school principal and have the school stamp applied as well. The concession cards were laminated into a special plastic slip, in a similar manner to adult periodical photocards.