Youth fares hit major milestone – 10 million journeys taken

More than 10 million affordable green journeys have been made by young people in the North East, thanks to a region-wide £1 single and £3 day ticket for those aged 21 and under using public transport.

The single ticket is available for use on all bus, Metro and Ferry journeys across the North East (Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham), and has proved extremely popular – collectively saving young people and families an estimated £7 million since in launched in May last year. 

A young person’s day ticket – which launched in September 2023 – is available for just £3, providing unlimited multi-modal travel between the borders and Barnard Castle! 

An estimated 3.6 million extra journeys have been taken as a result of the scheme, generating social and economic benefits whose value is estimated at £18 million. The fares have also had a positive effect on the environment, with bus trips having around 50% lower carbon emissions than travelling by car. 

Funded by the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), the £1 bus tickets offer cheaper travel for everyone who is aged 21 and under, whether they are students, apprentices or people who are starting out in their career, a move welcomed by youth charity NE Youth.

Chief Executive of NE Youth, Jon Niblo, said: “At NE Youth we are delighted to hear this positive news and well done to the North East Joint Transport Committee for recognising some of the barriers and challenges faced by Young People in accessing transport services.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “I’m thrilled that our £1 tickets for people aged 21 and under are proving so popular, with over 10 million tickets now sold. That’s millions of greener, cheaper journeys by bus, Metro and Ferry – opening up many opportunities for our region’s young people.  

“Many residents are dealing with the major increase in the cost of living, and I’m pleased these fares go some way to reducing everyday transport costs for young people and their families. If you haven’t been on public transport for a little while, now is a great time to try it out at an affordable price.

“Our Bus Service Improvement Plan funding is already changing things for the better for people across the North East – driving down the cost of every day travel for our young people, providing free travel to care experienced people up to the age of 25, and delivering a wide range of affordable adult day tickets too.

“As we look ahead to the creation in May of a new Combined Authority covering the North East region, we will continue to deliver our Bus Service Improvement Plan, looking for opportunities to drive economic growth and make public transport an affordable, attractive and green travel choice for people across the region.”

The North East Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) was published in 2021 and helped the region to secure one of the largest allocations of funding in the country at £163.5 million. Major improvements including new and enhanced bus services and affordable fare promotions are now rolling out across the region’s transport network – with more to follow. 

The £1 single fare initiative and £3 unlimited tickets sit alongside the national £2 adult single bus fare – meaning it is now substantially cheaper to travel by public transport across the North East.

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