Following the Welsh Government announcement made on January 4th  2021 that all schools and colleges in Wales will move to online learning, the Council’s college transport provision is currently suspended. Season Tickets for the Spring term 2021 have been delivered to the college and will be available for collection when colleges reopen.  You should have your photograph ready to secure onto the ticket for it to be valid for use.

Further information is available on the Council’s website.

College transport applications are being accepted and assessed as normal including applications for the 2021/22 academic year commencing from September 2021. 

There is no statutory requirement to provide transport for post 16 learners.

Rhondda Cynon Taf has, however, decided that learners who meet the criteria in respect of secondary learners of statutory school age, and who enrol for approved study courses within the appropriate 14-19 area timetabled provision, will be eligible for free transport.

Learners within the 2-mile distance are expected to make their own travel arrangements. The area timetabled provision excludes higher education courses.

This transport policy covers school 6th form and college further education courses only and does not extend to higher education courses funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). (The one year Foundation Art & Design course at the University of South Wales is not funded by HEFCW and transport may be provided to learners pursuing this course subject to the age and distance criteria set out above).

Where the course continues into subsequent years, the learner will be entirely responsible for arranging and funding their transport needs for continued attendance.

For learners with additional learning needs, transport may be made available until the end of the academic year in which they attain their 19th birthday. Travel arrangements in respect of any subsequent attendance are at the discretion of the learning provider.

No transport will be provided for mainstream learners beyond the second academic year after the end of compulsory education.

For learners with additional learning needs, transport may be made available until the end of the academic year in which they attain their 19th birthday. Travel arrangements in respect of any subsequent attendance will be considered on application, based on an assessed social care need.

What mode of transport will I receive if I have Additional Learning Needs?

If you qualify, transport will be provided on a contract bus or you will be provided with a season ticket for use on public transport.  The provision of specialist transport is granted under exceptional circumstances only. You may also be required to undergo travel training so you can catch a contract bus or public service bus independently. Please contact Student Services at the college to confirm transport arrangements before you enrol.

How do I apply for college transport?

Apply for college transport online:

Please note: Students that are assessed as being eligible to receive free college transport may need to provide passport style photographs to their college, please see the guidance below. If a student fails to submit a passport style photograph it may cause a delay in providing transport.

COVID-19 Transport Guidance

Do I need to wear a face covering on transport?

Public Transport

If you are using a season ticket to travel on public transport then you MUST wear a face covering and you should refer to Welsh Government guidance as failure to do so may result in you not being allowed to travel.

Contract Bus

Learners over the age of 11 years, travelling on dedicated college transport MUST wear a face covering, as most vehicles are full and learners cannot sit together in their year groups, but they are not a substitute for good hygiene. Not only will this measure help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 but also common colds and flu, which will also be a benefit.

Two re-usable face coverings per learner will be delivered to the colleges to be handed to those travelling on dedicated college transport for their first return trip home. Replacements for lost or damaged face coverings will be available from a stock in colleges.  

Will there be room for me on public transport?

If you arrive at the bus stop and there is no room for you to travel, it may be necessary for you to catch one of the additional public transport services that will be made available but only at the beginning and end of the college day (Stagecoach / NAT).  These services will arrive shortly after the main service so please wait at the stop. Please allow more time for your travel to college. 

What if I feel ill?

Do not travel if you are feeling ill, especially if you have symptoms of Coronavirus.If you are already in college and feel ill do not use transport home but contact your parent/carer to collect you. Please refer to Welsh Government guidelines for further details.  

Do I need to supply photographs?

If you are assessed as being eligible to receive free college transport you may need to provide passport style photographs to be able to travel. This requirement is dependent on the type of transport which will be provided:

Stagecoach South Wales & Edwards Coaches Season Tickets

You MUST supply three passport photographs to the college so they can be attached to your season ticket each term. You will be required to secure you own photograph to the season ticket this year to avoid queues at reception in the college and you will be provided with your season ticket by your course tutor and not reception staff.  A photograph will be required for each term as season tickets are valid for one term only

New Adventure Travel (NAT) Season Tickets

You MUST provide a passport style photograph as soon as possible by either emailing the photograph to collegetransport@rctcbc.gov.uk (clearly identifying the student in the photograph) or by providing the photograph to student services at your college. If this is your second year of study it may be possible to use your existing photograph to order your pass. You may be required to secure you own photograph to the season ticket this year to avoid queues at reception in the college and you will be provided with your season ticket by your course tutor and not reception staff. If you do not email a photograph you may be required to submit a photo for each term as season tickets are valid for one term only.

Train Season Tickets

If you do not already have a train "photocard" you MUST supply one passport style photograph to student services at your college so it can be attached to your train "photocard". You MUST ensure you retain your train "photocard" that accompanies the season ticket for the duration of your academic studies. Students who fail to retain their "photocard" will be required to purchase a replacement.

Council Contracted Bus Route Passes

Students that are allocated to one of the Council's contracted bus routes DO NOT need to supply photographs.

When do I get my pass?

Passes are ordered by the Integrated Transport Unit and delivered directly to the college within 21 days of receipt of completed application. No transport is provided during the 21 day application period.  The process does not commence until the date that the Integrated Transport Unit receives your correctly completed application form. Any unused season tickets that are not returned will be charged for and you will receive an invoice.

Public Transport Season Tickets

Season tickets will be available for your course tutor when you commence college.  Unfortunately season tickets cannot be collected prior to the commencement of the new term this year so you will have to make your own way into college or pay for public transport on your first day.

Contract Passes

If you have received an e-mail to advise you are entitled to free transport on a contract bus your name will be on the contractors list and will be able to travel on your first day in September.  If you have not received an e-mail and arrive at the bus stop you will be refused transport as your name will not be on the contractors list.

How will I be informed if my college transport application has been successful?

Your college transport application will be assessed in accordance with the Council's college transport policy and you will be contacted by email with the outcome of your application. Applications for the current academic year will receive a response within 21 days. Applications made for the next academic year will receive a response by August. Please check your spam email folder if you have not received a response.

Do I qualify for free transport if my course is outside Rhondda Cynon Taf?

Transport provision may be made for learners pursuing approved full time courses at Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot and Ystrad Mynach colleges. Details of the approved courses are available from:

School Improvement Team

Education and Lifelong Learning Department,

Ty Trevithick

Abercynon

Mountain Ash

CF45 4UQ

Tel: 01443 425001 

Learners who wish to pursue a study course other than within their area timetabled provision will be responsible for their own transport arrangements, except where the location at which the course is available is closer to the learner’s home than the school or college offering the area timetabled provision.

How do I get to College?

Transport is provided by either contracted bus or a season ticket for use on the local public transport services.  The Council determines the most appropriate transport arrangements for you.  If you are in receipt of a concessionary bus pass you will not be ordered a season ticket as you are already entitled to travel free on public transport, though where it is more cost effective to do so you may be offered a Personal Transport Budget (PTB). More information relating to a PTB can be found online.

Can I have a season ticket instead of a contract bus pass?

The Council determines the most appropriate transport for you and if you have been allocated with a contract bus pass you will not be able to travel on public transport, unless you pay for it yourself.

Can I have a contract bus pass instead of a season ticket?

Season tickets are allocated if a contract bus is not providing transport in your area.  If you want to travel on a contract bus you would have to apply to purchase a seat and if successful pay the fee and return your season ticket or you will be charged.

If I am not eligible for transport will I be able to purchase a seat on a bus?

You can apply to purchase a seat on a contracted bus via the Council’s website.  It is a first come first served process and capacity to sell vacant seats usually cannot be determined until after the start of the new Academic Year as applications are still being received from eligible students.  Seats cannot be purchased on public transport.

Should you be sold a seat, and the number of eligible students that are entitled to travel on the service increases during the term, the situation may arise whereby there would be insufficient seats and your entitlement to travel would have to be withdrawn. If this situation were to occur, then a ‘pro rata’ refund would be made to you for the remainder of the term.

No refunds will be given if a student needs to self-isolate or if a school/college closes. A refund cannot be processed unless the bus pass is returned.  

The current cost of the seat for remaining academic year is £106.65 is either charged in full for the remainder of the academic year or pro rata in accordance with the date of release of the seat. Any customer who has failed to pay for seats in previous years will not be sold a seat for the 2020/21 academic year.

I have lost or damaged my contracted bus pass

If you lose or damage your contracted bus pass you can order a new pass online or by contacting the Integrated Transport Unit on 01443 425001.  A replacement will be ordered at a cost to you.

I have lost or damaged my bus season ticket or train pass

If you lose or damage your season ticket or train pass please contact the Integrated Transport Unit on 01443 425001.  They will issue a replacement but there will be a cost to you.  Train tickets are only replaced ONCE in a 12 month period. 

Can I apply for transport at any time?

New applications are not considered after the end of the Summer Half Term (Whitsun).

How do I obtain further information?

You will need to contact Student Services at the college for any additional information you may require.

The Welsh Government administers the My Travel Pass scheme which provides discounted travel on public transport for 16-18 year olds across Wales. Further information about the My Travel Pass scheme is available directly from the Welsh Government, as follows:-

Information for public transport services is available from Traveline Cymru, as follows:-

To obtain further information regarding Independent Travel Training visit the Council's website.

 

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