East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, has called on young people in East Dunbartonshire to take advantage of a new scheme that provides free bus travel to everyone under the age of 22.
From this week, all young people and children aged 5-21 years old in East Dunbartonshire can apply for their new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC to access the scheme from 31st January 2022. The scheme, extending free bus travel to everyone aged 22, builds on the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide free bus travel to all under-19s in Scotland which started in August 2021.
Ms Callaghan has welcomed the initiative which is set to benefit around 930,000 young people across Scotland and pointed to research from Transport Scotland indicating that 70 percent of young people would use public transport more frequently if it was free.
The scheme will be delivered in partnership with Transport Scotland, the Improvement Service, the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO), Young Scot, councils and bus operators.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
"This is brilliant news for young people across East Dunbartonshire. It gives them a safe and reliable way to get to school, college or uni, to get home after meeting with friends, and to access work that isn’t within walking distance.
“It also gives peace of mind to parents.
“Delivering free bus travel to all under-22s is a hugely significant commitment from the Scottish Government that will benefit almost a million young people across Scotland.
“It also plays a role in tackling the climate emergency – getting cars off the road and promoting the habit of using public transport. Young people in East Dunbartonshire are rightly challenging their politicians to take bold action to create a sustainable future for them and free bus travel is an example of the trailblazing policies that can be introduced to rise to this challenge.
“The Scottish Government is once again making an investment in our young people’s future, supporting them to have the best possible start in life and creating the fairer, greener Scotland that we want to build.”