According to new research about bus use in Scotland, buses are the preferred mode of transport for almost one in five (18%) young people aged 11-25.
Stagecoach – Britain’s biggest bus operator – worked with Young Scot – Scotland’s national youth information and citizenship charity – to look at young people’s thought and attitudes towards public transport services.
The research found that wi-fi services, USB and power sockets, and live schedule updates when choosing how they will travel are increasingly important to young people. A fifth (20%) of young people use the bus because they can read or use their phone, while 46% said it was because buses are the cheapest mode of transport. Only a tenth (11%) highlighted environmental reasons.
While 14% of young people don’t check bus times in advance, of those who do 69% check online. Despite a wide range of discounts being available to young people, 67% of young people think they are missing out on special offers, discounts and concessions. The most popular discounts related to Young Scot, which accounted for more than half (54%) of all discounts used.
A quarter (25%) of young people don’t feel confident they have purchased the best value ticket. Almost nine in ten (89%) use traditional ‘on the day’ tickets that they buy from the driver. The average amount spent on travel rises as young people grow up with 21-25 year olds spending £9.49 per week rising from £4.62 for 11-15 year olds.
One in four (25%) of those aged 21-25 say the bus is their preferred mode of transport. Bus travel is the second most popular way to travel after being a car passenger (47%). As young people get older they are seeking more independence, half (53%) of bus users aged 11-17 say they prefer to be car passengers but only a quarter (25%) of young people aged 21-25 agree.
Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “Scotland has a wide range of public transport, but it isn’t always easy for young people to access the best price and services. Our research shows that while a
high number of young Scots are catching the bus, a quarter aren’t confident they’ve got the best value ticket. This research will help bus providers to understand the priorities for young people and the challenges they face in accessing services.”
For more information about the travel discounts available to young people in Scotland, please visit www.young.scot/discounts.