61% of young people say public transport central to combatting climate emergency.
All under 22s resident in Scotland will have access to free bus travel from 31 January 2022, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed, implementing a commitment agreed with the Scottish Green Party.
New research commissioned by Transport Scotland shows that almost two-thirds (61%) of young Scots agree that access to public transport will play a central role in the fight against climate change.
School pupils, students and social media influencers joined the First Minister and Mr Harvie at Glasgow Caledonian University to mark COP26’s Youth and Empowerment Day on board a new, Scottish-built electric bus as she confirmed the scheme.
The change means around 930,000 young people across Scotland will benefit from free bus travel from 31 January 2022.
Today, the Scottish Government confirmed that we will deliver free bus travel to all Scots under the age of 22 on the 31st of January next year. This transformational policy will open up opportunities for young people and help us deliver on our climate commitments. The Scottish Government is committed to hitting our world-leading climate targets and this policy is a positive step to doing just that.
Transport Scotland research showed 70% of young people indicate they would use public transport more frequently if it was free.
The Scottish Government has committed to removing the majority of fossil fuelled buses from public transport by 2023. A Bus Decarbonisation Taskforce has been convened which brings bus operators, the supply chain, energy companies and financiers together to co-design a pathway to a fully zero-emission bus fleet. Transport Scotland has made £50 million available to the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund, to further support the Scottish bus fleet to transition to zero emission.
– First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
We are committed to giving our young people the very best chances to succeed in life. The extension of free bus travel to all under 22s will improve access to education, leisure, and work, while supporting the adoption of sustainable travel behaviours early in their lives.
COP26 must be a turning point for the world, and action must be taken if we are to ‘keep 1.5 alive’, and Governments across the world must act to support this. Adopting more sustainable travel behaviour is vital if we are to reach our world-leading goal of reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2045.