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FREE BUS TRAVEL FOR ALL UNDER 21s AND STUDENTS.

Photo by Geof Sheppard

We believe that the free bus passes for pensioners and disabled people should be extended to all students and those under 21 in order to ensure equal work, school and social opportunities throughout the city. This also will help relieve congestion on the roads of Bristol and promote lifetime habits of utilising public transport.

Free bus passes for pensioners and disabled people extended to all under 21s and students in Bristol.*

‘Increasing walking and cycling improves people’s physical and mental health and, together with public transport and electric vehicles, reduces air pollution, significantly cutting health service costs’

Green Alliance, Blueprint for a Resilient Economy

WHY DO WE BELIEVE THIS DEMAND IS IMPORTANT?

  • Offers young people a feasible alternative to owning a car, contributing to reduced congestion and improved air quality

  • Establishes positive lifetime habits of utilising public transport 

  • Encourages healthier journeys, bus use often involves a walk or cycle rather than driving door to door

  • Promotes equal opportunity across the city 

COSTS OF CURRENT BUS TRAVEL:

  • The Metrobus offers accessible single-journey prices at £1.60 for a young person, however, frequent traveller passes are £50.80 per month which is inaccessible for many students and young people.

  • FirstBus charges £501 for an annual bus pass for a 16-21 year old 

  • For 16 - 17 year olds earning minimum wage, this equates to 110 hours of work 

  • For 18 - 20 year olds earning the minimum wage, this equates to 78 hours of work

  • Occasional single journeys are relatively cheap, but the cumulative cost creates a barrier against the use of bus services for regular commuters for young people

BRISTOL BUS SURVEY:

  • Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate conducted a survey to gauge the relationship between Bristol’s young people and bus services. Overall there were 118 respondents, 80% of whom were under 25.

  • 39% used the bus a few times month, only 14% used the bus every day 

  • 80% voted that the current bus fares in Bristol are not reasonable 

  • 90% responded they would use the bus more frequently if it was free

Other issues raised:

  • People would be more inclined to use the bus if they were more reliable 

  • Lack of frequent buses means current services get overcrowded, especially during commuting hours 

  • Lack of bus infrastructure leads to delays, often due to car congestion 

* A student here is defined as someone in full or part-time education, including apprenticeships and vocational training schemes.

 

Current bus pricing uses 21 as the cutoff qualifying ‘young person’ age. Fee-waiving is targeted at regular commuters as this is where prices become inaccessibly high. 

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© Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate 2020

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