Extra bus service shows success of Greens’ free travel scheme

Local MSP Ross Greer has hailed further success of the Scottish Greens’ free bus travel rollout for under 22s after it emerged that a local bus route previously under threat due to low passenger numbers is now running an extra service  to cope with increased demand.

Ross had  previously been contacted by constituents who reported that the no.15 bus which leaves Milngavie at 07.35 had recently been regularly running at capacity and was unable to pick up passengers at a number of stops. After being contacted by Ross, operator Glasgow Citybus confirmed that an extra bus has been added at this time in order to meet the extra demand, which has been driven in large part by young people using their free bus pass.

The 15 route links Milngavie and Bearsden with Gartnavel Hospital, the West End and city centre. It is popular with school, college and university students, many of whom have also benefitted from free bus travel for under 22s which was introduced this January thanks to the Scottish Greens. Over 21 million journeys have already been taken by young people across Scotland under the scheme, including by the more than 8,300 young people in East Dunbartonshire who had their cards at the last count.

The 15 service was significantly reduced and under threat as recently as 2019, when Ross and local councillors successfully campaigned to bring back the full hourly service and run it as far as the city centre.

Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland commented:

“This is a fantastic demonstration of the success of the Scottish Greens’ free bus travel scheme. Just three years ago the 15 was under serious threat, and now early morning buses are so full that Citybus are adding extra services in order to meet demand.

“I hope this growth in passenger numbers continues to the point where Citybus can be persuaded to run more than one service an hour. Bus routes like the 15 are vital to help people access everything from education to their hospital appointments, to tackle the climate emergency, and to support local businesses.”