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Camilla Care

Pilot bid to give free public transport to 1,000 Glasgow residents

Vaseline 1 month ago

A SCHEME to provide free public transport to 1,000 Glasgow residents for nine weeks, as proposed by council bosses, but only if funding could be found.

Glasgow City Council has received support to investigate the pilot, which could lead to a permanent rollout of an SPT ZoneCard allowing all residents to travel the city‘s transportation network for free.

The pilot showed that 1,000 Glasgow residents could travel for freeCredit: Alamy
1They would get an SPT ZoneCard which also covers Subway and some ferriesCredit: SPT
Some ScotRail services would also be included in the ZoneCard pilotCredit: Alamy

The ZoneCard is a flexible season ticket that gives you unlimited travel on ScotRail, Subway, most buses and some ferries in the Strathclyde region.

A study has found that providing a free bus pass to everyone in Glasgow aged 22 to 59 (the age group not currently eligible for a free bus pass) would cost around £95.7 million, excluding back-office costs. and administration costs.

The proposed pilot would involve the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), with 1,000 Zonecard smart cards purchased by the council and distributed to participants.

At the 2022 COP26 climate conference, a free ZoneCard was given to around 40,000 delegates reportedly costing “just over £1 million for 20 days” – Met By the Britain Government.

The preferred option to continue a pilot would be to deploy 1,000 people, aged between 22 and 59, which would cost around £250,000.

It is recommended due to the uncertainty surrounding funding for a larger pilot project and the “more manageable” sample size.

But while councilors have allocated funding to support the “development of the scope of a pilot”, officials have reported that “no funding has currently been allocated to implement the pilot”.

The study, conducted by Stantec, looked at similar schemes in Scotland and further afield, but also the need for free public transport and delivery options.

It stated: “The intention of the pilot project is to provide a mechanism through which the benefits and costs of free public transport can be captured and assessed, to inform future decision-making and policy formulation for a potential wider roll-out of the system across the city . a more permanent basis.

“It should be noted, however, that this report focuses only on the design of a potential pilot, and subsequent implementation of a free public transport pilot is subject to securing appropriate funding from Glasgow City Council. “

The age range was set at 22 to 59 years to “exclude populations that already receive free bus travel.”