Applications are now open for five – 21-year-olds, with a focus on children and young people who need to make essential journeys.
Youngsters using the scheme, which goes live at the end of this month, will need a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) before hopping on board.
The scheme builds on the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing free bus travel to all under-19s in Scotland which started in August 2021.
And Angus South MSP, and transport minister for Scotland, Graeme Dey, this week said that the initiative is set to benefit around 930,000 young people across Scotland and pointed to research from Transport Scotland indicating that 70% of young people would use public transport more frequently if it was free.
He said: “I’m delighted that the under-22s free bus travel scheme will go live as planned on 31 January, with applications open now for children and young people to get their new or replacement national entitlement card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC.
“The current phase of the pandemic means that we are encouraging people to stay at home as much as possible. But there are many essential reasons for children and young people to travel by bus and I am keen that they benefit from this scheme at the earliest opportunity. Therefore, we are asking that only those for whom bus travel is essential apply at this time. This will help to minimise pressure on local councils, which will be processing applications and responding to queries.”