Consultation launched on free travel for young people
In October, the Scottish government launched a six-week consultation on proposals to offer free bus travel for under-19s resident in Scotland.
If the scheme goes ahead, the Scottish Parliament will consider legislation to underpin it in early 2021 in time for it to take effect later next year.
At present, over one-third of Scottish people already benefit from free bus travel. To extend this to approximately 770,000 young people would deliver on the budget agreement, as reaffirmed in the recent programme for government.
Legislation will also be put forward to offer free travel to companions of disabled children under the age of five as part of the extension to those aged under 19.
Transport, infrastructure and connectivity secretary Michael Matheson says: ‘These are hugely exciting proposals for the future of our bus sector and for inspiring future generations to engage with sustainable transport.
‘Free bus travel will help young people access education, employment and leisure, and particularly those from lower income families. What we are proposing will help them as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, while supporting the vision outlined in our national transport strategy for a fairer and more sustainable transport system – reducing inequalities, tackling poverty and promoting opportunity.