UK bus operating companies are looking at plans to offer discounted travel to NEETS, young people not in education, employment or training.
The new travel scheme, designed to assist unemployed youths in finding work, has the support of five major transport companies, who operate around 70 percent of the UK bus services, and will include limited free or heavily discounted travel to NEETS, who are estimated to number in the region of one million.
The details are yet to be agreed nationwide, but should enable the record numbers of young unemployed to benefit from some kind of assistance by mid-autumn, possibly a voucher scheme, but the initiative will almost certainly fall short of the free passes that are issued to the over-60s.
The proposals are being funded by Greener Journeys, a collaborative effort between Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead and Stagecoach. National Express has also expressed its support for the scheme.
Brian Souter, the chief executive officer of Stagecoach, said, ‘The discounted travel scheme being developed could make the vital difference between a life of worklessness and getting a job, helping more young people to make a better start in life.’
The UK Transport minister, Norman Baker, said, ‘I have been encouraging bus operators to look at the fare deals they can offer to young people looking for work or attending training courses, so I am pleased that they are considering this.
This would benefit the industry as well as job seekers as these young people are not only a key section of the market, they are the future of the local bus industry.’