Extend free bus travel to all under 25 and low-income people, report finds
Public transport must be made more affordable for people living in poverty, according to a report by activists.
Transport Scotland commissioned the Poverty Alliance to review the public transport system.
His report recommends extending free bus travel to all under 25 and those receiving low-income allowances.
In March, the Scottish government announced that everyone under 22 would benefit from free bus travel.
Research based on focus groups with low-income families found that the cost of public transport is often prohibitive and causes social isolation.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “These results confirm what communities have been telling us for many years; that too many families in Scotland are locked into difficulties because of our transport system.
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“In the just and compassionate society in which we all want to live, our public services should help ensure a decent life for everyone. Yet, as this report makes clear, right now our transportation system is tightening rather than loosening the grip of poverty. ”
Transport Minister Graeme Dey welcomed the report. He said: “Our national transport strategy sets out the ambition of everyone in Scotland to have equitable access to the services we need.
“The results of this research underscore the urgent need for us to develop actions to address the interrelated challenges of public transport availability and accessibility on a specific and targeted basis.
“We are already working to introduce the necessary legal changes to extend free bus travel to all people under the age of 22.
“On this basis, I will ensure that more attention is paid to issues related to the availability of public transport services, and I look forward to working with the Poverty Alliance to advance the results of this research.