Everyone Aboard is a campaign by the Poverty Alliance to extend free bus travel to those with a Universal Credit entitlement and other low-income benefits, and to all young people under 25. Addressing transport poverty in Scotland is a vital part of building an environmentally sustainable society, ensuring everyone’s human rights can be realised, and of combatting poverty and inequality.
The Poverty Alliance is calling for the proposed policy to be implemented and fully funded as a necessary investment in building a more just and compassionate Scotland. They will make the case for extending the concessionary bus travel scheme based on evidence and consultation with our members, as well as external research, that shows:
- Bus travel is essential to accessing vital services and employment, especially for those living on a low income.
- Fares are too high for many people living on low incomes, creating unjust barriers to accessing services and to
realising human rights.
- Removing the financial barrier to accessing public transport will increase opportunities for people living on low
incomes, including young people under 25, and aid them in participating fully in society.
In the first instance, the campaign will seek commitments from Scotland’s political parties to adopt the policy in their manifestos for the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.
In a letter sent to Scotland’s party leaders, Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“As a society, we believe we should look out for each other. But those whose finances have suffered most during the pandemic, people on low incomes and young people under 25, risk being left behind in our economic recovery.
Greater access to free bus transport is not only good for the environment, but will help tackle poverty, reduce geographical inequalities and help increase access to essential services.
The next Scottish Parliament has the chance to build a Scotland for all of us, one where no one is left behind. On the road to recovery, we can make sure everyone has a seat, by providing free bus travel to everyone receiving Universal Credit and other low-income benefits, and to all young people under 25.”
More information about the campaign can be found on the Poverty Alliance website.