Free bus travel for Scots under-22
All residents in Scotland under the age of 22 will be eligible for free bus travel from 31 January 2022.
The Scottish Government has confirmed the timetable for the roll out of the scheme, delivered in partnership with the Improvement Service, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office and Young Scot.
Legislative changes to allow the scheme to be extended from its original commitment to provide free travel for under-19s will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament this summer.
Approximately 930,000 young people will join the third of Scotland’s population who already benefit from free bus travel through the Older and Disabled Persons Free Bus scheme.
In February 2020, the Scottish Government committed to extend free bus travel to young people aged under 19. Work was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic but restarted with a public consultation launched in October 2020. Following the consultation, the Scottish Government committed to launch free bus for under-19s as soon as practicable in the financial year 2021-22 and laid a draft SSI to create a new young persons’ bus concession scheme on 21 January 2021.
“It’s crucial to embed more sustainable travel behaviour from a young age” – Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey
Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey, said: “It’s crucial to embed more sustainable travel behaviour from a young age if we are to achieve our world-leading goal of reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2045.
“We also know that young people have been disproportionately impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, so it’s never been more important that we support them to achieve their fullest potential. Reducing barriers created by transport costs is one really positive action we can take.
“Our National Transport Strategy commits to a fairer, greener transport system which will reduce inequalities and take action to protect our climate. I’m really pleased to be taking decisive action on both of those points by setting out this timetable to provide free bus travel for all under-22s living in Scotland.”