Social-distancing measures limiting public transport capacity do apply on the privatised Newcastle network, but Transport for NSW says no school student will be left without a ride.
The government announced a string of measures on Monday to help prevent the potentially rapid spread of COVID-19 when public transport use increases as society returns to normal.
They included reduced passenger limits which drastically cut the capacity of buses, trains, ferries and trams.
Only 12 people will be allowed on a bus and 32 in a train carriage. Similar limits are expected on Newcastle's trams and ferry. Green stickers will be placed on seats to spread passengers out.
Monday's announcement centered on the usually jam-packed Sydney network, but Transport for NSW confirmed the passenger limits would apply in the Hunter.
"Physical distancing measures will be rolled out across the state with the deployment of green dots to take place over the coming days," a TfNSW spokesperson told the Newcastle Herald.
Bus drivers will likely ignore the rules, and have been instructed to do so, to allow school children to use the network as required.
The passenger limits had drawn concern from parents about how students would commute to school when they return en masse on Monday. Transport for NSW said the limits did not apply to dedicated school buses.
"There are currently no physical distancing restrictions on dedicated school services," the agency said.
"No school student will be turned away from public transport, even if this means physical distancing won't always be possible on dedicated services. School children and people who require assistance, such as those with disability, will be given priority access, even if this means a service goes over physical distancing capacity."
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said on Tuesday no school students should be left behind.
"We can't have school kids left anywhere," he said
"There's got to be a bit of common sense apply.
"We've said with school kids, 'don't leave them anywhere isolated on the network'. With schools going back, we do run specialised services for school kids, generally, but there are other kids who have to use the broader network and ultimately we want to give them priority."
Richard Olsen, NSW branch secretary of the Transport Workers' Union, urged the community to respect drivers and staff.
"Bus drivers are doing their job to keep people moving, we would ask that bus passengers take responsibility for their own safety aboard a bus, and not to take out any frustrations they have on a driver," Mr Olsen said.
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