Local Constituency MSP, Fiona Hyslop, has welcomed the 100 million free bus journeys made by under 22s across Scotland since the Scottish Government introduced its Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme one year ago. Fiona marked the milestone announcement recently in her role as Minister for Transport.
“I’m really pleased to see that over 100 million journeys have now been made by under 22s across Scotland – and that the scheme is making a positive difference to young peoples’ lives.
“Many young people in West Lothian rely on local bus services and it is estimated that over the lifetime of a child and young person families can save £3,000 if full use is made of free bus travel with the card.
“The scheme has also allowed young people across West Lothian to take on part time jobs, attend more sports training or visit family more often and it offers more opportunities to young people without it impacting on the family finances. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t yet applied for a card to do so.”
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The milestone moment comes on the same day as the year one evaluation of the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme is published, which finds it has allowed over a third (34%) of cardholders to access new opportunities.
The scheme aims to encourage more sustainable travel and tackle issues related to transport poverty by:
- embedding positive sustainable travel behaviours
- opening up social, education, employment and leisure opportunities
- reducing household outgoings to aid children, particularly those living in poverty
The evaluation shows progress against each of those objectives, with increasing numbers of young people travelling by bus and families reporting cost savings and reduced worry and anxiety relating to travel.