Bus pass rethink for young people

Cotswold Journal: Bus pass rethink for young people Bus pass rethink for young people

A MULTI-MILLION pound overhaul of bus passes for young people is being planned in Worcestershire – including the possibility of a new flat £1 rate to travel anywhere in the county for under-25s.

The county council’s taxpayersubsidised Severn Card pass scheme is being torn up amid concerns not enough people are taking advantage of it.

A more modern pass will be brought in aimed at easing congestion across Worcestershire and helping teenagers attend jobs or college courses easier.

A watchdog-style panel of councillors has raised the idea that the new improved bus pass could be extended to all under- 25s instead of just under-19s who benefit at present.

The Severn Card is used by 1,702 young people in Worcestershire, but an in-house report warns it is becoming “unsustainable”

due to pressure from commercial bus fares.

Some school pupils qualify for a free card while other young people are charged up to £547 a year for it, but the overall cost of the scheme to the county council is £860,000 a year.

The report admits Worcestershire County Council “could do much more” to increase its popularity, including expanding the age range and charging £1 per trip. It also calls upon the authority to promote the new pass, including making it a central theme on the website.

Four options being flouted as possible alternatives from August include: 􀁥 A flat rate of £1 per bus trip, estimated yearly cost £1.5 million 􀁥 Half-adult fares on all trips, estimated yearly cost £1.8 million 􀁥 Free passes, costing up to £10 million a year 􀁥 A one-off £25 charge then £1 per trip for all cardholders Although these costs were based on restricting the cards to 11-19 year olds, the council is now considering expanding the scheme to 25-year-olds.

None of the options have been ruled out at present, although the report does warn some fares are already cheaper than £1 per journey, meaning a limited number of students would end up paying more.

But it does say the rate would be “easy to market” – and that it could potentially be taken up by 10,210 11 to 19-year-olds in Worcestershire.

The free travel option is almost certain to be scrapped in the coming weeks due to the costs.

Comments (5)

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2:46pm Mon 18 Feb 13

skychip says...

As a pensioner I would be happy to pay an annual fee for my bus pass and I know others would as well.
As a pensioner I would be happy to pay an annual fee for my bus pass and I know others would as well. skychip
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Worcestershire Youth Cabinet says...

We are really pleased that this is being looked into. We feel it is unfair that 16 year olds are forced to pay adult prices when they do not earn an adult wage. It can sometimes restrict which college people can go to, and puts a lot of financial pressure on those young people taking part in apprenticeships.
We are really pleased that this is being looked into. We feel it is unfair that 16 year olds are forced to pay adult prices when they do not earn an adult wage. It can sometimes restrict which college people can go to, and puts a lot of financial pressure on those young people taking part in apprenticeships. Worcestershire Youth Cabinet
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Mon 18 Feb 13

More Tea Vicar says...

Sounds like a good idea. Helping young people with mobility is a great way of taking pressure of their budgets, and making it easier for them to get to college and work.

I also hope consideration will be given to improving the punctuality and practicality of bus services, and the installation of decent cycle paths.
Sounds like a good idea. Helping young people with mobility is a great way of taking pressure of their budgets, and making it easier for them to get to college and work. I also hope consideration will be given to improving the punctuality and practicality of bus services, and the installation of decent cycle paths. More Tea Vicar
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Mon 18 Feb 13

kateamuffin says...

Good plan if it helps young people get to college, university, work etc.
Young people might be able to find jobs further afield than they would normally consider if they knew they could get transport cheaply there.
Before i could drive i used to have to catch 2 buses to get to my job several times a week which supported me through college.
Good plan if it helps young people get to college, university, work etc. Young people might be able to find jobs further afield than they would normally consider if they knew they could get transport cheaply there. Before i could drive i used to have to catch 2 buses to get to my job several times a week which supported me through college. kateamuffin
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Mon 18 Feb 13

thompson9100 says...

I agree with Skychip. As a disabled person I would be very happy to pay towards a pass, and if given the option to extend it to be used before 9:30 for an extra charge annually, I would certainly take it up. I work full time shifts 24/7 and the bus isn't used for work. I used to live in Birmingham and they operated a similar system.
I agree with Skychip. As a disabled person I would be very happy to pay towards a pass, and if given the option to extend it to be used before 9:30 for an extra charge annually, I would certainly take it up. I work full time shifts 24/7 and the bus isn't used for work. I used to live in Birmingham and they operated a similar system. thompson9100
  • Score: 0

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