Bid for free public transport pilot in Glasgow

A pilot scheme for free public transport across Glasgow could be developed in partnership between the city council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

Council Leader, Susan Aitken, will now write to the Scottish Government’s transport secretary calling for support to launch the pilot in Glasgow.

During Thursday’s full council meeting the Green group presented a motion recognising the success of the free integrated travel card system for COP26 delegates in Glasgow – similar to permanent systems other cities around the world operate.

Councillor Alan Young of the Green group said: “Like many others in Glasgow and beyond, I was a bit miffed to say the least when I heard Cop26 delegates would be getting a free integrated travel card for their time in Glasgow.

“Many of us across the chamber have been calling for years for a more affordable and integrated travel system for our city and here it suddenly appeared for an international conference and disappeared again.

“We cannot let this glimpse of how our transport system can work be consigned to history and we must deliver a COP26 transport legacy by creating a better travel system.

“One which is affordable and provides cross over between bus, subway and rail transport methods. We hope our motion will help advance that aim today in calling for a universally free integrated public transport pilot for Glasgow.”

The motion, amended and supported by the SNP group, instructs the council to work with partners to explore the feasibility of a targeted free public transport scheme which will build on Transport Scotland’s free bus travel scheme for under 22s.

SNP councillor Chris Cunningham added: “As we see expressed in both community led campaigns and the recognition at government level, that issues such as better integration, public ownership and free access are crucial as we move to the transition to net zero emissions which we all support.

“Climate change has demanded that we take action sooner rather than later to reinforce the need that public transport has a viable future for the needs of our communities.”

The council will also work with SPT and other relevant bodies to develop proposals for a free public transport trial and produce a report by September 2022.