The South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, has released her report Safe and Sound – views and experiences of young people on public transport. In 2022, the Commissioner surveyed over 1,000 young South Australians aged 13-20 years about their thoughts relating to public transport services, and the report is formed from their responses.

Children and young people are reliant on others to get to anywhere they can’t walk or cycle to. This makes access to public transport extremely important to young people across metropolitan, suburban and regional South Australia.

When transport is lacking, unreliable, unsafe, or unaffordable, it has a disproportionate impact on the quality of children and young people’s lives, including their ability to maintain education, employment, family connections and friendships. There are strong links between children and young people’s mobility and their overall social inclusion and wellbeing.

In the report, the Commissioner makes several recommendations based on the things young people said — primarily in relation to issues around affordability, safety and accessibility. A key recommendation is providing free transport to students already identified as being part of low income families and therefore in receipt of a Student Card. In addition to the cost of transport, the report identifies perceptions of safety waiting for and while on public transport as unfairly impacting young women, LGBTQIA+ people, and those with disability, limiting their mobility and independence.

“Transport is central to how young people experience their community and affects almost every aspect of their lives. Young people’s access to a full range of reliable, consistent and integrated transport options is not just a ‘nice to have’ – it is an essential component of their full participation in society as active and engaged citizens.”
Commissioner Helen Connolly

Download the PDF of the report here.