Ding! Ding! 100 million greener free bus journeys for U22s

The policy was a result of a Scottish Green budget deal in 2020, and its delivery has been expanded as a key priority of Scottish Greens in government

The Scottish Government's decision to provide greener free bus travel for everyone aged under 22 is transforming lives for the better, say the Scottish Greens.

New figures released by Transport Scotland shows that over 100 million free journeys have now been made through the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme, increasing social mobility and opening up new opportunities.  

Some 700,000 young people are now registered as cardholders, and benefiting from the positive difference the scheme is already making to lives.

MSP Mark Ruskell, Scottish Greens transport spokesperson, said: “This major milestone for greener free bus travel for under 22s underlines exactly the kind of progressive policy that can influence life habits with tangible results.

“We are introducing new generations of people to public transport, developing user habits that had all too sadly been lost to our car culture. Allied with our record investment in walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure, this is environmentally defining stuff.

“It is good for the climate, it helps young people through the cost of living crisis and ensures that they can seize opportunities for study or work or even visiting family and friends, all of which will also contribute to their well-being.  

“There are other benefits being seen too, such as taking both financial and time pressures off parents and families, giving young people more independence and sustaining bus routes in communities up and down the country. 

“It is one of the most transformative benefits introduced by our parliament. The long term impacts of this policy in terms of the mental, economic and environmental impacts make it one of the most positive and significant government changes of devolution. 

“We had plenty of naysayers from the opposition decrying this scheme when it launched, questioning whether it would be popular. Well 100 million free journeys is a pretty spectacular response to that. It has been an absolute game-changer for young people.”

The policy was a result of a Green budget deal in 2020, and its delivery has been expanded as a key priority of Scottish Greens in government.

In October the party also announced £2m will be committed to progressing free bus travel for asylum seekers in Scotland. They also secured an extension to the existing National Ferry Concessionary Travel Scheme for eligible island residents under 22.

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