Going green

You can help tackle the climate emergency

Transport is Scotland’s biggest emitting sector, accounting for nearly 36% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. And of these emissions, almost 40% comes from cars. By moving to active and sustainable modes of travel such as public transport, walking, wheeling, cycling and shared transport, we can help reduce emissions and tackle climate change together.

Did you know that one full double decker bus equates to taking 75 cars with one driver off Scotland’s roads? 

Embedding a culture of sustainable travel is key to tackling the climate emergency, and we know that many young people are actively engaged in the challenge. Research polled by Transport Scotland in October 2021 showed that young people supported the roll out of free bus travel and almost two-thirds agreed that access to public transport will play a central role in the fight against climate change.

You have a unique opportunity to make more sustainable travel choices with free bus travel across Scotland. Rethinking your travel and making use of free bus journeys will not only save you money and open doors to new opportunities, it can also help you to do your bit to make Scotland a greener place to live and reach its net zero target.

Find out more about net zero and the actions you can take at Net Zero Nation.


A win-win

Stewart, 17, Young Scot volunteer

How will free bus travel make a difference for you and your peers?

Free bus travel for young people in Scotland is a fantastic way to help tackle the climate emergency – an issue that’s so important to young people as we are the generation who will be most impacted. Not only will it help to reduce our carbon emissions, but it will also support young people like me to study, socialise, get to work and make the most of their lives.

Car? What Car

Kirsty, 18, student

Has this made you think about what we can do for the environment?

My friends and I often talk about things we can do that’s environmentally friendly. We can see the benefits of free bus travel in that way.

What will change for you?

When I left for university, I was going to take the car with me. Now I don’t need to. Happy to take the bus around town. It helps the environment and saves me lots of money.

What do your friends think of that?

They love it. We’ve all got a part to play.

Choose the bus, and you can…

  • Help tackle the climate emergency – replacing car journeys with public transport can help reduce CO2 emissions by 42% when using the bus. Less cars on the road will also improve air quality by reducing pollution which benefits the health and wellbeing of communities up and down the country.
  • Improve your fitness – by walking, wheeling or cycling to the bus stop or station, you’ll be helping to improve your health by being more active.
  • Get where you need to go faster – fast track lanes for buses avoid traffic and congestion, helping you get from A to B quickly and conveniently.
  • Turn your journey into time well spent – use your time on the bus to relax with a good book, make plans for your free time or get a head start on your day!

About the scheme

Planning ahead

If you’ve never travelled on the bus by yourself, here’s what to do and what to expect.

Getting and using your card

Nearly one million children and young people under 22 in Scotland could benefit from free bus travel.

Working together

The Scottish Government has worked closely with its delivery partners to deliver free bus travel for under 22s.