YOUNG BUS PASS REACHES 15,000 IN COUNTY
Over 15,000 young people in Renfrewshire are benefitting from free bus travel, according to new figures published by the Scottish Government.
And the new statistics were hailed as “fantastic” by a local MP.
The Young Person’s Free Bus Travel Scheme was launched in January this year, guaranteeing free travel to anyone under 22 years old with a valid pass.
Anyone aged between 16 and 21 years old can apply themselves for the travel card, while for children between 5 and 15 years old, a parent or guardian should apply on their behalf.
And those over 16 currently holding an active Young Scot card can quickly upgrade for free travel through a simple app available through Transport Scotland.
The scheme has issued a total of 15,485 passes across Renfrewshire, while across Scotland 413,909 passes have been issued over the last seven months.
Meanwhile nearly 50,000 older people and disabled concessionary passes are in circulation in Renfrewshire, meaning over 65,000 local residents now benefit from free bus travel locally and through the whole of Scotland.
Both schemes are funded by the Scottish Government, and over 60s and disabled people also benefit from reduced fares on local trains and Glasgow’s Subway.
The new figures were welcomed by Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands.
“These figures show how quickly the young persons concessionary travel scheme has spread in the short time since it was introduced at the start of this year.
“After being launched in the middle of the omicron covid wave in January, that hurdle has been overcome and the scheme is going great guns. As a result record numbers of people are now benefiting from free bus travel and saving money every time they travel.
“At a time when families are being hammered by the Tory cost of living crisis, providing free transport for young people helps household finances and gives young people the flexibility and freedom to take part in activities they might not otherwise be able to afford.
“Students moving away to university for the first time can get there and back home for free using the card, while college students can now travel to their studies without worrying about the cost and apprentices and workers can get to and from their workplace.
“Clearly there is still some way to go before everyone who is entitled to the pass has it, and I would urge anyone under the age of 22 to get their application in and make sure we’re as close to 100% takeup as possible.
“This is a fantastic scheme made possible by Scottish Government funding, and every family across Renfrewshire and Scotland will feel the benefit in their pocket over the coming weeks and months.”
Applications for the young persons’ travel card can be made through their website at freebus.scot.