16+ Travel Card

Bus travel in Kent for over 16s in school, college or training.

When you can apply

Applications for September 2017 are open from Monday 5 June 2017. To guarantee the pass can be collected from your child's school on the first day of term, you must complete your application by 14 July 2017. Any applications received after this date will be processed within 28 working days of us receiving them.

Once you have submitted your application, contact your child’s learning provider to arrange for payment to be made.

You must complete our application as well as making payment to your child’s learning provider.

Before you apply or renew you will need:

  • a passport style photo in JPEG format and no more than 40kb in size. There is a cropping tool available within the application. However, you may find it useful to crop the photograph to the dimensions required before you upload it. For more information on the photograph requirements, read the guide to applying online (PDF, 1.0 MB) before starting your application.
  • the name of your school, college or learning provider.

Apply or renew online

Apply or renew online

You cannot apply online if you are attending Canterbury College. Please contact the college's Student Information Centre for further details.

Apply by post

Print and complete our 16+ Travel Card application form (PDF, 1.1 MB).

Return by post to: Kent 16+ Travel Card, Public Transport, Kent County Council, PO Box 441, Aylesford, ME6 9HJ.

Do not send payment to Kent County Council. You will need to contact your school or college to arrange payment for your pass after you have applied.

For more information, download the 16+ Travel Card leaflet (PDF, 485.1 KB) or the 16+ guide for parents (PDF, 562.4 KB).

To get a 16+ Travel Card you must:

  • be 16 to 19 years old - to be eligible for a travel card for the academic year beginning September 2017 your date of birth must be between 01/09/1998 and 31/08/2001 (in academic years 12-14)
  • live in a house that pays Council Tax to a Kent council
  • attend a participating school, college or work-based learning provider.

If your school, college or employer is based outside Kent, but you live in Kent you can still apply.

If you live in Medway or a London borough with a Kent postal address (for example Bromley) you can't apply and should contact your own council to find out about their schemes.

Full year travel card

A card for the full 2017/18 academic year costs £400. There is no administration fee for applying for the pass and you will need to make the payment directly to your child’s learning provider. You must complete our application as well as making payment to your child’s learning provider.

Part year travel cards

You can buy travel cards to cover all or part of the academic year. The cost is based on when we receive the application:

Valid fromCostsApplication deadline (for pass to be ready for the start of term)
Term 1 (from 4 September 2017)£40014 July 2017
Term 2 (from 30 October 2017)£34029 September 2017
Term 3 (from 4 January 2018)£2801 December 2017
Term 4 (from 19 February 2018)£2105 January 2018
Term 5 (from 16 April 2018)£14016 March 2018
Term 6 (from 4 June 2018)£7011 May 2018

Paying in instalments

Check with your school, college or employer to see if you can pay in instalments.

Getting help with the cost

Speak to your school, college or employer to ask for help towards the cost if:

  • your household income is between £16,191 and £20,817 a year - you should pay between £200 and £400
  • your household income is less than £16,191 a year (the same as our free school meals criteria) - you should pay no more than £200
  • you are an employed 16 to 19 year old apprentice who can demonstrate hardship caused by travel pressures - you should pay between £200 and £400.

If you've received the full vulnerable learner bursary payment or your household income is more than £20,818 you'll pay £400.

Refunds for returned cards

If you leave your education or training or don't need your card for any other reason, we'll refund you part of the cost based on the terms when it has been used. You'll have to pay a £50 administration fee.

You need to hand in your card to your school, college or employer, who will then send it on to us.

We'll send your travel card to your school, college or employer within 28 working days of receiving your application. If you applied by 14 July 2017 and you have agreed payment with your child's learning provider, your travel card will be ready for the first day of term in September.

We have agreed with bus operators that for the first few days of the academic year (week commencing 4 September 2017), students who have applied on time and need to collect their new pass from school or college should be allowed to travel free of charge. If they have it, your child should carry their old pass, but anyone who would qualify for the scheme should be allowed to travel without any proof of payment or eligibility.

Once your application has been processed, you will receive an email or letter as confirmation. You no longer need to present a letter in order to travel and we are therefore not providing them.

You can use your travel card all day, all year. Cards run out on 31 August.

The card allows free travel on most public buses. You can't use it on private bus services and coaches.

See a list of all operators taking part (PDF, 89.6 KB)

Travel outside Kent

Use Traveline to plan your bus journey.

Outside of Kent: you can use your pass to travel to counties bordering Kent as long as the journey starts or ends in Kent. You can't use it on London buses.

Medway: you can use your pass as long as your journey starts or ends within the Kent County Council administrative area, but you cannot use your pass to make journeys from one Medway point to another Medway point.

If you experience any problems with the bus service that you are using, you should contact the bus operator. If this doesn't resolve the issue, you can email the 16+ Travel Card Team at kent16plustravelcard@kent.gov.uk.

Behaviour of card holders

You are expected to follow the code of conduct at all times and the bus company's conditions of carriage.

If you don't your pass may be taken away or you may even be banned from travelling on certain buses.

Download the 16+ Travel Card code of conduct leaflet (PDF, 661.9 KB).

Download the 16+ Travel Card terms and conditions (PDF, 78.0 KB).

Lost, stolen or damaged passes

To get a replacement pass please call us on 03000 41 84 84 with your child's name, address and school. You will need a debit or credit card.

Cost: £10 per replacement

Pay: by debit or credit card if you call us or send a cheque or postal order with your child's name, address and school (made payable to Kent County Council) to Kent 16+ Travel Card (Replacement), Kent County Council, Public Transport, PO Box 441, Aylesford, Kent ME6 9HJ.

You can have 3 replacement passes per school year.

Temporary passes

We'll send a temporary pass to your home for your child to show the driver whilst you're waiting for your replacement. We usually do this within 10 working days of receiving payment.

We'll send the replacement pass to the school before the temporary one runs out.

Found passes

If you have found a bus pass please contact one of our staff:

Changes to your details

If your circumstances change, for example if your child changes school or address, please email the details to kent16plustravelcard@kent.gov.uk.