Transport and parking

Transport and parking

On this page is a list of your options for getting to and around campus, as well as information about student discounts for public transport.


Bus Services in Townsville and Cairns

Sunbus provides a regular bus service to and from the campus, city and suburbs in both Townsville and Cairns. Pick up a timetable at the Student Association or visit the Sunbus website.

Public transport in Brisbane

For information about public transport in the Brisbane area, go to the TRANSlink website.

Bus Stops

Sunbus only services one bus stop on the Townsville campus. This stop is outside Education Central (Bld. 134). The buses pick up passengers at the bus shelters on the Uni Halls side of the road and drop them off on the Education Central side of the road. One bus goes past the colleges and halls of residence on Western Campus.

Students who study Veterinary Science or other health degrees may find it more convenient to walk to the Townsville Hospital bus stop instead of across campus to the JCU bus stop.


On the Cairns campus, there is a bus stop on Panguma street.

Students who live at the Student Lodge should also be aware that there are bus stops along Captain Cook Highway and on McGregor Road.

Public transport costs and concessions

Tertiary Transport Concessions

A 50% concession fare is available for tertiary students on all TransLink public transport services, regional qconnect bus services and approved regional ferry services.  To travel on tertiary concession fares in regional Queensland, students will be required to meet all of the eligibility criteria and carry a current student ID with a valid tertiary concession sticker attached. Students will need to apply each year for a tertiary concession sticker as they expire in March of every year.

To meet the eligibility criteria students must

  • Be enrolled in and attending a course
  • Reside in Queensland
  • Be a full-time student enrolled on an internal basis.

If you are eligible for a tertiary concession sticker please follow the below steps:

  1. Have a current JCU student ID card
  2. Download and complete a Tertiary Concession Sticker Application Form for your campus
  3. Send or bring your form to the Student Centre (Townsville and Cairns) or your Administration Office (Mackay and Mount Isa).
  4. Upon verifying your eligibility, staff will apply a tertiary concession sticker to your current JCU student ID.

For more information about the tertiary concession sticker including information for regional students wanting to travel in South East Queensland, visit the Translink Tertiary Students webpage.


Sunbus offers students a special rate (with a Tertiary Transport Card) as well as convenient monthly or weekly unlimited travel tickets. The costs vary depending on zones travelled. For further information contact Sunbus at:

Cairns – Tel: (07) 4057 7411, Email:
Townsville – Tel: (07) 4725 8482, Email:
Centrelink pensioners may be eligible for further discounts.

Students studying in Brisbane should check the TRANSlink website.

Parking on campus


A mix of free and permit parking is available.

Free parking: There are a number of free parking spots on campus. View the campus maps to find out where. Free parking often fills up quickly, so you may want to get a parking permit.

Permit parking: There are more permit parking spots available than free parking. Permit costs are available from the Estate Office.  Complete a Parking Permit Application and take it to the Co-op Bookshop in Townsville. Once you have paid, you will be issued with a sticker to display on your windscreen.

You can also purchase a single day parking permit from the Co-op Bookshop for $2.00 per day.

Townsville parking arrangements will change in 2019.


Annual and half-yearly permit parking: The new vPermit (virtual permit) system is available for JCU staff and students, and other affiliated personnel who wish to park their vehicles at the Cairns Campus. vPermit eliminates the need for paper and sticker permits and will be available online.

Casual parking: CellOPark is a free and easy to use app which allows users to set up their own account and pay for parking quickly and easily, eliminating the need to display paper tickets. Vehicle registration is recorded when you start a parking session.

Alternatively, casual parking fees can be paid using the Pay-by-Plate Machine.

Bicycle travel

It's great idea to ride your bike to campus – it will save money and help the environment too!

Bike tracks: Visit the council's website to see local bike tracks to the Townsville campus or the Cairns campus.

Free bike hire at JCU: If you live on campus, you have the option of participating in TropEco's Bike Share Program. This gives you free daily bicycle hire ($20 refundable security deposit) which includes a bike lock and key. You can either bring your own helmet or hire one of those too! Check out the website for more information, including participating colleges.

On-campus cycling facilities

Bike storage: Designated bike racks are located near most major buildings on both the Cairns and Townsville campuses. There is also secure, swipe-access bike enclosure beside the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library in Townsville. You will need to request access to this facility by filling out an Application for access card for Secure Bike Facility.

Showers: As we are situated in the tropics, cyclists often want the option to shower after their ride. JCU has public showers available on both the Cairns and Townsville campuses.

You can find out more information on cycling facilities at JCU on TropEco's Bicycle Travel webpage.

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