Aberdeenshire Council, Stagecoach Bluebird and Bain’s Coaches are working together on a trial that will see discounted travel for 16 – 20 year olds, who have a Mega Discount Card, on the Portsoy – Banff to Aberdeen bus corridor.
Under the initiative, young people between the ages of 16 and 20 can buy half-price multi-journey tickets such as Bluebird’s Weekly Megarider tickets and Bain’s 10-journey ticket.
The scheme means that young people purchasing a weekly Stagecoach Megarider for travel between Banff or Macduff to Aberdeen will benefit from a discount of £20.50, while on Bain’s Coaches a 10-journey ticket will be available between Oldmeldrum and Aberdeen at a cost of £14.
The reduced fare tickets will be available from Monday, November 19 for those travelling from Portsoy, Banff, Macduff, Turriff, Fyvie, Oldmeldrum or Newmachar to Aberdeen.
It is primarily aimed at regular travellers such as those attending Aberdeen College or travelling into work. The cost of the scheme is being jointly funded by Aberdeenshire Council and the bus operators. Subject to uptake and affordability it is hoped that similar discounts can be extended to other parts of Aberdeenshire.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said
Young people have consistently told us through our area bus forums and other forms of engagement that the availability of affordable transport is an important issue for them.
I’m therefore delighted that we are able to provide financial support to assist bus operators in providing these discounted fares.
Councillor Alan S. Buchan, Vice-chair of the committee, added
This latest initiative is in-keeping with the overall aim of the council’s fares and ticketing strategy, which is to work in partnership with operators to ensure that the travelling public have access to fares which represent value for money and ticket options which reflect their travel patterns.
Managing Director of Stagecoach Bluebird Andrew Jarvis said
Stagecoach already have a range of great value tickets suitable for regular travellers and students, but we appreciate that not all young people are students. The under-21 mega discount card aims to bridge the gap between child and student fares and our adult megarider tickets and we are hopeful that it will be well used on our 35 route.
Doug Bain, owner of Bain’s Coaches, said
I hope that this scheme is popular with young people living in Oldmeldrum and Newmachar. It’s a great deal for them.
Chair of the Aberdeenshire Youth Council, Rebecca Cox said
This is a fantastic development for young people, the cost of transport throughout Aberdeenshire has been brought up by young people during a number of consultations, so it’s great to see Aberdeenshire Council and transport companies working together to resolve this.
Those wishing to take advantage of the scheme should apply now to the council’s Public Transport Unit for an under 21 mega discount card which should be carried when travelling and shown to the driver for the discount to be applied to the relevant bus ticket. Applications can be made through the council’s website at http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/publictransport/Megadiscount/index.asp