Scheme to allow free travel for everyone aged 21 and under will begin on January 31
By Lucy Ashton
Free bus travel for everyone in Scotland aged under 22 will begin on January 31 2022, the government has announced.
Transport Scotland has set out the timetable for the introduction of free fares, which will cover around 930,000 people.
Around a third of the population are already entitled to free bus travel through schemes for older and disabled people.
Legislation to bring in the changes will be debated at the Scottish Parliament later this summer.
A proposal for free travel for under-19s was lodged at Holyrood in January this year.
Extending this to under-22s was part of the budget deal agreed in March.
Transport Minister 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.”