Rules for catching a public bus

There are rules for travelling on a public bus and for behaviour at bus interchanges.

If you don't follow the rules the driver, a transit officer or a security officer may ask you:

  • not to board a bus
  • or leave a bus.

You could also receive a warning or be banned from using the bus.

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You are not allowed to advertise or promote any function, event or affiliation at any bus interchange, bus stop or shelter without the permission of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.

This includes any of the following:

  • posting any flyers or notices on any walls or other surfaces in or around buildings, bus stops or shelters or other like structures
  • handing out of any such material
  • approach another person for the purpose of advertising or promoting an event.

Paid advertising opportunities are now available on the exterior of Darwin public buses. For all advertising enquiries and feedback contact Go Transit on 1300 468 726.


Hearing, guide or assistance dogs are only allowed on buses. All other animals are prohibited.


Articles or baggage that cannot be conveniently carried, or that will interfere with the comfort of other passengers (as determined by the driver) are prohibited.


People who are violent, disturbing the peace, likely to cause annoyance to other passengers or damage the bus (as determined by the driver) will be refused travel.

You must behave calmly and politely.

You can find out more about respecting your driver on the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website.


To travel on buses in the Northern Territory with a folded bike, you must be able to store your bike in either:

  • the luggage rack
  • or on the floor in a place that is not obstructing aisles or exits and does not pose a danger or inconvenience to passengers.

Conventional bikes are not allowed on buses. Secure bicycle storage facilities are available at the Palmerston and Casuarina bus interchanges and the Coolalinga and Humpty Doo park and ride facilities. Go to the cycling page to find out more.


Busking is not allowed on buses or at any bus stop, shelter or interchange.


The playing of musical instruments or music devices including mobile phones (unless using headphones), distributing handbills, advertisements or offering articles for sale is prohibited.


You must be 18  years and over to legally possess, throw, ignite or explode fireworks.

If you are carrying fireworks on a public bus they must be in their original shop packaging.

You cannot carry commercial quantities or individual fireworks on buses.

You can only use fireworks on 1 July between 6pm and 11pm.

It is illegal to keep fireworks in your possession outside of the approved periods.

Unused fireworks must be handed in to NT Worksafe by 12noon 2 July.  You can find information about disposing of fireworks on the NT Worksafe website.

Food and drinks

Eating and drinking (except for water in a resealable container) is prohibited.


People with soiled clothing or items that may soil the bus or clothing of any passenger (as determined by the driver) will not be allowed on the bus.


You must not make disruptive or excessive noise that might distract the driver.

This includes playing musical instruments or audio from devices such as mobile phones.

The use of headphones is permitted.


Children may be left in strollers and prams on public buses. If there is no appropriate space the driver may ask that the children be carried and the stroller or pram stowed.


Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is prohibited on buses and at bus stops and interchanges.

Read the smoke-free area policy PDF (1.7 MB) for more information about smoking and catching public transport.


Seated passengers must, if asked by the driver, give up their seat for a passenger with special needs – eg: a senior citizen, a disabled or mobility impaired person, pregnant woman or a parent with a small child.

Standing on buses

Passengers are allowed to stand on all public bus routes and on school bus routes where the bus is not fitted with seat belts.

You must not stand on:

  • seats
  • bus steps
  • parts of the bus that aren't for passenger use.

Stopping at bus stops

Bus drivers must stop at all bus stops where they can see a potential passenger at or near the bus stop.

Passengers who are approaching a bus stop should hail or signal to the driver their intention to board. The driver must stop providing that the bus is able to stop safely and the person is sufficiently close to the bus stop that their boarding will not cause unnecessary delay.

Read the policy for more information.

Stopping at bus stops policy PDF (264.7 KB)
Stopping at bus stops policy DOCX (178.4 KB)

Subsidised travel and concession fares

Eligible passengers should ensure they have a valid identification card before they board the bus.


If you are buying a paper ticket on the bus, you should ensure you have close to the correct fare.

Drivers do not always have the ability to change large notes. Find out more about bus tickets and fares.

Travel cards

Tap and Ride cards are not redeemable for cash at any time and are only valid for travel when presented on Darwinbus and ASbus services.

For general bus enquiries or feedback call 08 8924 7666, Monday to Friday, 6.45am to 4.30pm or submit your feedback online.

Last updated: 19 November 2019

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