With 84 million journeys, free bus travel for young people is "a game changer for public transport"

Free bus travel is opening up Scotland to young people and their families.

With over 84 million journeys since the scheme was launched in January 2022, greener free bus travel for everyone under 22 has ‘opened up our communities and our country’ for young people across Scotland, says the Scottish Greens transport spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP.

Marking Scotland’s Climate Week, Mr Ruskell has called it one of the proudest achievements of the Scottish Parliament.

670,000 young people across Scotland have taken over 84 million free bus journeys. Over 70% of all eligible young people have received their free bus pass, which allows them to travel anywhere in Scotland.

The local authorities with the highest uptake of eligible young people are Edinburgh (96%), Inverclyde (91%), North Ayrshire (84%), Dundee (83%) and Fife (82%).

Scotland is the only country in the UK to offer free bus travel for all young people. It was introduced following negotiations between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government.

From next Monday peak rail fares will be scrapped on all Scotrail services for at least six months as part of a national pilot programme.

Mr Ruskell said 

“This has been a game changer for public transport. I am delighted that so many young people have signed up for their free bus pass. It is opening up our community and our country while helping families in a cost of living crisis and cutting our emissions by reducing the numbers of cars on the road.

"I’m really proud that we have delivered this with the Scottish Greens in government. It’s one of the proudest achievements of the Scottish Parliament and is having a huge impact. Every free bus journey is money in people’s pockets. There will be families all over Scotland who have already saved hundreds of pounds.

“Public transport is for all of us. It should not cost the earth. That is why we are building on this success by removing peak rail fares from October 2nd.

“I want every young person to have these same fantastic opportunities. I would encourage all of those who have yet to do so to visit and register for their card today.”