NICOLA STURGEON has confirmed all under 22s in Scotland will have access to free bus travel starting in the New Year.

The change means around 930,000 young people across Scotland will benefit from free bus travel from January 21, 2022. 

The move by the Scottish Government implements 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.


Transport Scotland research showed 70% of young people indicate they would use public transport more frequently if it was free. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “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.”

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Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, Patrick Harvie MSP said: “This transformational policy shows that our focus on tackling the climate emergency goes hand in hand with improving lives and tackling inequality. Free bus travel will open up opportunities for young people and ease pressure on family budgets while helping deliver the step-change we need to deliver on our climate commitments. 

“Children and young people travelling for free on modern, zero-carbon electric buses is another step towards the fairer, greener Scotland we are committed to building.”