Is Your Child Ready to Catch Public Transport Solo?

One of the best ways to help kids develop their independence is getting them to catch public transport solo.

While the thought alone might make most parents nervous, it can help kids put problem solving, planning and road safety skills into practice, benefitting them greatly in the long run.

That being said, there is definitely a few things to consider when deciding whether your child is ready to catch the train or bus to school by themselves.

Before we start

In Australia there are no legal guidelines when it comes to letting kids travel alone, rather it is up to parents to decide whether their child is ready.

In Queensland however, penalties of up to 3 years imprisonment apply for leaving a child under 12 unattended, so be sure to do your research before letting your child travel by themselves.

To see if your child is ready, ask yourself these two questions:

Do they have road safety skills?

Road safety skills are essential when it comes to deciding if your child is ready to catch public transport alone.

They should know to look both ways before crossing the road and to only cross at dedicated pedestrian lights or crossings. Other things like not running across the road, getting off the bus safely and not stepping onto the road where they aren’t visible, such as from behind parked cars or shrubs are also essential.

It is worth noting that it is recommended that children under 10 should not cross the street alone which is something to consider when deciding if your child is ready to journey solo.

Do they know what to do if something goes wrong?

Does your child know what to do if they get lost or feel unsafe?

Making sure kids know how to handle any problems that could come up on their travels sets them up for a safer journey.

At the very least, kids should be able to call a parent or guardian or tell the bus driver if they’re uncomfortable or lost, knowing how to read the bus or train timetables, knowing what to do if their normal ride gets cancelled or delayed and understanding the basic geography of where they’re going.



There are many things we can do to help make your child's travels easier and safer.


Spend some time doing a practice run with your child to help them get familiar with the route.

This will help kids feel more confident about which stop to get off at, how the ticketing system works, when and how to press the button to get the bus to stop and how to read the timetable.

This confidence will build and get stronger with every trip they take.

Keep in contact

It is essential that your child is able to contact you at any time during their journey if they need to.

If you're reluctant to give them a smartphone, Spacetalk Adventurer 2 lets kids keep in touch without any of the dangers of a regular phone and is packed full of safety features.

There’s even a GPS function so you can see where they are at a glance, perfect if they get lost or accidentally catch the wrong bus or train.


Catching public transport solo is a wonderful way to develop a child's independence and confidence, and with today's technology you can rest assured that you can keep watch from wherever you are.