The cheapest ways for students to get around Glasgow - including the subway, buses, and half price trains

Want to know the best ways to get around Glasgow for cheap as a student? Have a look below to see which mode of transport suits you best.

As university students return to the city this month and schools are back, here’s how to get around Glasgow on the cheap.


The new Glasgow Subway trains will be the first in the UK to eventually operate without staff on board. Picture: SPT

Glasgow’s subway is one of the oldest in the world, and can get you from the city centre to the west end and the south side for cheap - at around £3 for an all day ticket without any smart cards.

A single ticket for £1.55, a weekly ticket for £14, a monthly ticket for £28, a ten week ticket for £120, a six month ticket for £270, and a yearly ticket for £485 - and half of these prices for people under 16.

Tickets are a fixed price and are not related to the distance you travel, meaning it costs the same to travel between any two stations.

The best value tickets – including season tickets – are available on a Smartcard.

You can buy a smartcard for the subway for £3, or use any other smartcards from Scottish transport operators, like: Scotrail, McGills, Stagecoach, Tripper, and Young Scot / Saltire cards.

The Subway runs from 06:30 to 23:40 Monday to Saturday and 10:00 to 18:12 on Sunday.


Glasgow has an extensive bus network, with tickets starting at around £1.80 for singles. These increase depending on distance, and are £4.90 for an unlimited all-day ticket, £18.10 for an unlimited weekly ticket, and £56.70 for a monthly ticket.

As of this year if you’re under 22 and living in Scotland, you can travel for free on the bus. All you need is a Young Scot Card, which is available for free for everyone aged 11 to 25.

Young people who are 5−21 years old will need a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) before hopping on board.

However, if you’re aged between 16 and 21 and already have an active NEC or Young Scot NEC, you have the option to download free bus travel onto your existing card using the Transport Scot Pass Collect app.

This means you may not need to apply for a new card to access your free bus travel.

Those over the age of 60 can also travel for free with a national entitlement card.

Buses run throughout Glasgow 24 hours, with a reduced service during the night. You can check buses using the First bus app, or in-person at bus stops.


Glasgow has a huge amount of train stations across the whole city, and can be a handy way to get around, although it’s a bit more expensive.

Tickets increase during ‘peak’ times, so you should avoid travelling at busy commuting times, such as before nine in the morning, and after five until later in the evening.

All throughout freshers month however (until 25 September), Scotrail are offering all students a 50% discount on all off-peak tickets with a valid Student ID.

Santander also offers all students a railcard if they sign on with the bank for a student account , which gives a 33% discount on all tickets.

ScotRail also offers monthly, weekly, and yearly tickets for discounted prices, which vary depending on stations and routes used.

A student transport fayre is being held on Friday 16 September from 10am-4pm at Buchanan Bus Station, which promises freebies and a chance to learn about the best student travel options available in Glasgow.