Back to school, bus to school

The first day back at school in September can be an anxious time for children and parents, especially if your child is starting a new secondary school.

One really helpful and practical way you can help address these fears is to plan your child's bus travel and tickets before their first day back.

Start by planning your bus route on our website www.yourschooljourney.co.uk, where you'll find every Brighton and Hove secondary school and the bus routes that serve them. You can also check timetables, bus stops and fares.

If you need to get to a school that isn't listed, just call our customer services team who will help you plan your journey.

It's a good idea to try out the journey a few times with your child beforehand to build up their confidence.

For younger or more nervous children, you could talk to them about where the bus goes and how long it takes to get to school. You could also draw the route and teach them about bus safety.

Our friendly drivers on the school run understand these back-to-school jitters, so if something does go wrong, such as your child missing their stop, they will come to the rescue. We also have audio-visual announcements on our buses, which means most school stops will be announced. For those that aren't announced, teach your child the name of the bus stop where they'll need to get off.

Brighton & Hove Buses' Managing Director Martin Harris said: "I know many parents will be frantically dashing around buying school shoes and uniforms and worrying about how their child will cope at a new, often larger, school next month.

"We can take at least some of the worry out of the equation by making the journey to school as easy and as stress-free as possible. Our drivers are experienced and friendly and they'll make sure your child gets to school safely and on time."

We've tried to make buying your child's bus ticket straightforward with our busID scheme for young people aged 5 to 18.

You can upload e-tickets onto the card and top it up online or at our 1 Stop Travel shop. It's a little cheaper to buy tickets online but please bear in mind that it can take up to 24 hours for an online ticket to activate, while at 1 Stop Travel it's instant.

Alternatively, your child can use their busID card to save money when paying cash directly to the driver. Children aged 14-18 will need a busID to get half-price child fares.

To get a busID card, pop into 1 Stop Travel or Head Office at 43 Conway Street, Hove, BN3 3LT with proof of date of birth, (these can be copies). We can take your child's photograph - or bring a passport photo - and we'll process your busID card on the spot.

Alternatively, download the form from our website - most secondary schools have them as well - and post your proof of date of birth and a passport photograph to us at Head Office. This can take up to five working days but all your documents will be sent back to you.

If your child will only be using the bus occasionally, or you just want a more flexible option, then our citySAVER Multi-Trip tickets are for you. You can buy single journeys in bulk and the more you buy, the more you save.

If you have more than one child at school you can take advantage of our Sibling Saver, which offers discounts to parents buying more than one 90-day pass or 12-month busID city or network saver. Children must be living at the same address and both tickets must be bought at the same time but they can have different start dates. Visit goo.gl/BaAumg for more information.

It's also worth checking with your local council to find out if your child is entitled to a free bus pass. Eligibility rules consider distance travelled, parental income and whether you or your child have a disability or long-term health problem. Click here for more information.

Brighton & Hove Buses Customer Service: 01273 886 200

Head Office Reception, 43 Conway Street, Hove, BN3 3LT

1 Stop Travel, 26 North Street, Brighton BN1 1EB