Green MSP praises free bus travel for under-22s

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Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Green MSP for the Mid Scotland and Fife region, has described the introduction of free bus travel for under-22s as a “huge success for young people in Stirling.”

Last week marked a year since the scheme was introduced. Since January 31 last year, young people that are 21 and under have been able to use their National Entitlement Card (NEC) to access free bus travel.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP said that the scheme “is one of the ways that with Scottish Greens in government, we are delivering for communities and for the planet.”

He added, “not only has it helped households and families during a cost crisis, [but] it is also cutting carbon emissions and has opened the country to a whole generation of young people.”

Nearly 8,000 young people in Stirling have received a free bus pass. That’s just under half of all the eligible people in the area.

The scheme had previously been criticised for having a low uptake in the early months. In May last year, Scottish Labour claimed that fewer than one in three eligible people had taken the buss pass. Uptake does now seem to have improved.

Across Scotland, more than 560,000 under-22s have made more than 40 million free bus journeys. This means nearly 60 per cent of eligible young people have received their free bus pass.

Ruskell also encouraged young people, who haven’t already done so, to sign up for the scheme. He asked young people “to visit freebus.scot and register for their card today.”

He added, “I want as many young people as possible to benefit”.

To apply for the free bus pass, young people should visit getyournec.scot. There’s also an app on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Featured Image Credit: Brig Newspaper

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