If you’re like us, the bus is seldom your first mode of transport around Bristol. We love that it’s a very walkable city and our legs take us almost everywhere we need to go. But when we do need to go that bit further, we’re ordering a taxi, grabbing a lift from a mate or risking it all on a Voi. But a new scheme is aiming to get people on the buses a bit more but offering free bus travel around Bristol with a Birthday Bus Pass.
That’s right! Starting in July, residents of the wider Bristol area will be able to claim free bus rides, but only during the month of their birthday. (Summer babies win again, unfortunately.) This new £8-million plan, announced by the West of England Combined Authority on Tuesday (May 23), will give locals a free bus pass for a month.
The aim is to get more people to use public transport, which will hopefully help reduce things like congestion, pollution and climate change. It will also help commuters that are struggling with the cost of living crisis. Anyone living in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and North East Somerset will be able to apply for the Birthday Bus Pass. While the scheme itself will run for a total of one year, from July 1 until June 30, 2024.
“We’ve got a cost of living crisis which is very tough for lots of people, they’re genuinely frightened, so I want to help with that by reducing the cost of travelling by bus,” said Dan Norris, West of England metro mayor. “Also we’ve got a climate emergency, and that is clearly critical and getting worse if the latest figures are right, so we need to get people on public transport and out of their cars.”
“We’ve got a load of congestion in our region which costs our regional economy £300 million a year, and we have 300 people every year dying prematurely because of air pollution. This initiative is giving residents of the West of England free bus travel for the whole of the month of their birthday. And it’s a UK first. There have been other initiatives but not like this one.”
To apply for your Birthday Bus Pass head to the website (which is not live yet) here.