Going back to school by bus?

Everything you need to know about School Services during COVID-19 here. But first, a note:

Please know that our public transport team is working with the Ministry of Education, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and schools to manage demand. We know this is a difficult time for parents and students and want to thank and recognise the work everyone is doing to Unite against COVID-19.

We’ve been working with schools and operators to meet demand. The good news is that we have some dedicated school services to take the pressure off the network for other passengers, and get our kids back to school. But there’s still more to be done. Keep up to date here.

Some schools are keeping a register of  students who catch the bus for contact tracing. With these control measures in place, the bus becomes a controlled environment and does NOT require physical distancing.

Buses have been asked to provide hand sanitiser. They are being cleaning in accordance with COVID-19 MoH guidance.

Below is a list of dedicated services confirmed to run, additional school-only services on regular Orbus routes as well as schools which have confirmed they have a register.  There is a bit of work to be done to match this up, so please be patient.



The below services will operate as dedicated school services and will run from Monday 18 May:

  • 5D 8:35am Pine Hill to Logan Park High School
  • 6E 3:35pm Logan Park High School to Opoho and Pine Hill
  • 6D 3:05pm Dunedin North Intermediate to Pine Hill
  • 40C 3:15pm Queens High School and Kings High School to Lookout Point


The following services will have additional dedicated school-only buses running on the route:

  • Route 1: City to Palmerston at 3.35 from the the Bus Hub.
  • Route 8: 7:45, 8:00 and 8:15 from Normanby to St Clair; and returning from St Clair at 15:20. An additional return service will run to Normanby originating from Kings and Queens High School at 15:05.
  • Route 14: 07:30 from Port Chalmers to the Bus Hub, returning 15:31 from the Hub to Port Chalmers.
  • Route 18: 07:07 Harington Point and the 7:47 from Portobello to the Bus Hub. A returning service will depart 15:08 from the Hub to Harington Point.
  • Route 77: 8:00 trip from Mosgiel, returning from the city at 15:42 and 16:12.
  • Route 44: 7:48 from Halfway Bush to the Bus Hub.
  • Route 55: 08:03 from Brockville to the Bus Hub.

The following schools have confirmed they have a student bus register:

Pupils of these schools are able to use our public transport school buses.  If your school is not on this list, you are not permitted to use these services.

  • Abbotsford School
  • Arthur Street
  • Balmacewen Intermediate
  • Bathgate Park School
  • Bayfield School
  • Big Rock Primary School
  • Broad Bay School
  • Carisbrook School
  • Columba College
  • Concord School
  • Dunedin North Intermediate
  • Dunedin Rudolf Steiner School
  • George Street Normal School
  • Grants Braes School
  • John McGlashan College
  • Kaikorai Valley College
  • Kavanagh College
  • Kings High School (Dunedin)
  • Liberton Christian School
  • Logan Park High School
  • Macandrew Bay School
  • Maori Hill School
  • Mornington School
  • North East Valley Normal School
  • Otago Boys' High School
  • Otago Girls' High School
  • Port Chalmers School
  • Portobello School
  • Queens High School
  • Sacred Heart School (Dunedin)
  • Sawyers Bay School
  • Silverstream School
  • St Hildas Collegiate
  • St Joseph’s Cathedral School
  • St Joseph's School (Port Chalmers)
  • St Leonard's School (Dunedin)
  • St Mary’s School (Mosgiel)
  • St Mary's School (Dunedin)
  • Tahuna Normal Intermediate
  • Taieri College
  • Tainui School
  • Waikouaiti School
  • Wakari School


  • We are increasing peak frequencies on Route 5 (Lake Hayes) to better meet demand
  • We will be running an 8am from Sunshine Bay to Wakatipu High School (duplicate service badged as school bus) and a dedicated 3:30pm from Wakatipu High School to Fernhill


My school or route isn’t listed

We know there are a lot of schools not on this list and are working with schools and the operator to update this list as soon as schools confirm, and additional services are consequently arranged. Please note, additional services still depend on vehicle and driver availability.


Students should look out for the sign

Aside from the usual dedicated school services marked as such ie 6E, students should look out for a sign in the window with a list of schools. ONLY students of these schools are permitted on the bus.

Students can still take regular bus services, but due to capacity constraints to meet distancing requirements, these buses may not be able to accommodate all passengers.  

Buses are still fare free. Students do not need to show ID


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