Students studying full-time at universities outside of NSW are being forced to pay full adult price fares when catching public transport, with students saying it is “unfair”.
Under the NSW Transport Guidelines, a student studying full-time at a NSW university is eligible for discounted rates on transport. However, the student must reside in NSW to receive the benefits.
Courtney Love-Foster, who is from Sydney and is living and studying at ANU in Canberra, is just one of many students who wasn’t aware of this law and almost learnt the hard way when she was visiting her family in NSW.
“I found out I wasn’t entitled one weekend in my first year when I was travelling home quite often as Canberra is quite close,” Miss Love-Foster said. “I bought a single ride concession ticket when they were still available and got stopped by transport officers who asked to see my student ID and it wasn’t considered ‘valid’ – ultimately I wasn’t ticketed as it was my first offence.”
“Students who are residing in another State or Territory on days when classes are held and returning to a residence in NSW at other times (such as on weekends and during breaks between semesters) are not considered to be NSW residents for concession eligibility,” said Transport for NSW.
Tanya Thongpanich, who is also from Sydney but studying at ANU, says paying the full adult price fares is slightly unfair for interstate students who face financial hardships.
“Shouldn’t I be paying the same rates? Sydney transport is so expensive and inconvenient so I have to take long routes sometimes and the rate typically doubles the price,” said Miss Thongpanich.
Miss Love-Foster agrees saying, “The amount of interstate students at ANU and the large amount of students that live in student accommodation, which ends for nearly three months at the end of each year, means that people are travelling home regularly and even have to leave jobs in the ACT to go home to where we’re paying adult prices.”
However, despite the law seeming unfair, this doesn’t apply to just NSW. All the other states and territories, except for the Northern Territory, enforce the same law when it comes to offering student discounts on public transport only if you reside in that state.
And it’s not just pubic transport students travelling interstate need to look out for. Depending on the proprietor, you may or may not be eligible for student discounts that you usually would have in the state you’re studying in. Below you can find just some of the venues and events that may (or may not) recognise your “student” status when visiting NSW.
Sydney Aquarium, like NSW Transport, only offers a discount to students who produce a valid NSW Student Concession card. Students from interstate will have to pay the full adult price.
However, Taronga Zoo provides discounts to all full-time Australian and International students as long as you have an ID to verify this at the gates.
Sydney Living Museums also states on their website that all Australian students will be eligible for a concession rate, although an appropriate ID will be required.
The Sydney Living Museums website states that, “Full time secondary or tertiary student cards (eg NSW Tertiary Student Concession Card or interstate equivalent; or the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) ) are valid.”
Also, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra offers a discount to all full-time Australian students, provided you present a valid Australian student ID at the the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Box Office to pick up tickets.
With most cinemas in NSW, all Australian students holding a valid Student Concession card will be eligible for their discounted rates.
Events cinemas on their terms and conditions state, “Where you purchase concession tickets online, suitable identification must be provided at the Cinema.”
Hoyts offers discounted tickets, but also requires the presentation of the applicable discount card, Student and Concession.
Ritz Randwick also offers discounted rates to students, however, you will be required to provide a suitable identification when purchasing tickets. Failure to do so will result in your ticket being forfeited.
Apple offers discounts to all current Australian university students, as well as parents buying for university students. However, they do require a verification that you are attending a university.
JB HI-FI also offers a discount to all Australian students on their products, including laptops. However, just like Apple, JB HI-FI requires you to be able to verify you’re a student.
On the JB HI-FI terms and conditions they state, ” ‘Eligible Student’ means a K-12, tertiary institution, college or university student and any other education institution that has a valid .edu email address at the time of purchase.”