All residents under 22-years-old will receive free bus travel in Scotland from early next year.
The Scottish Government has confirmed about 930,000 young people will be eligible for the scheme when it launches on January 31.
The move is part of attempts to reduce car use across the country by encouraging public transport use from a young age.
How can under 22s get free bus travel?
The free bus travel scheme for those under 22 will operate in a similar way to the existing free travel for pensioners.
It will only be open to those living in Scotland.
Passengers will be required to show a Young Scot national entitlement card when boarding with work currently progressing “at pace” to support the roll-out.
It was originally announced in February 2020 that the Scottish Government would extend the discount to under 19s – before the project was delayed due to Covid.
However, it was then decided in March this year to expand the age groups included.
Kirsten Urquhart, interim chief executive of Young Scot, said: “Young people often tell us about the positive impact free travel would have on their lives.
“For some, it’ll help them to travel to work or take part in learning. For others, it’ll improve their wellbeing by making it easier to socialise and to meet with their friends and family.
“Free travel that is accessed easily by the Young Scot national entitlement card will open doors for young people – helping them to explore opportunities that many would previously not have had the financial means or confidence to take part in.”
Why has the scheme been introduced?
It is hoped promoting bus travel from a young age will encourage more to use public transport as they get older.
The move is part of efforts to meet the government’s target of net zero carbon emissions in Scotland by 2045.
— Transport Scotland (@transcotland) July 27, 2021
Transport minister Graeme Dey said: “It’s crucial to embed more sustainable travel behaviour from a young age if we are to achieve our world-leading goal of reducing the number of kilometres travelled by car by 20% by 2030.
“We also know that young people have been disproportionately impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s never been more important that we support them to achieve their fullest potential.
“Reducing barriers created by transport costs is one really positive action we can take.”
Separate initiatives are already underway across the Highlands to promote bus travel to ease congestion at beauty spots by reducing car use.