A pilot bus ticket to reduce the cost of travel by up to 50 per cent for young people has been so successful that it is to be made a permanent product – just as it celebrates its first birthday.
MyTicket was unveiled by Merseytravel in partnership with commercial bus operators a year ago for 5 to 15 year olds as an affordable option for unlimited all-day travel across the Merseyside bus network for just £2.
It was initially launched for a 12-month trial period and has proved to be such a big hit with young travellers that it has been given the green light to continue on a permanent basis.
Councillor Mark Norris, Lead Member for Customer & Corporate Social Responsibility, said:
“We launched MyTicket a year ago following our pledge to make transport more affordable for young people and it’s fantastic that we can announce on its first birthday that it will continue. I’m sure the news that it is now a permanent ticketing product will be welcomed by young people who have always been very positive about MyTicket. It’s clear it’s a popular product that provides real value for money.
“This is just the start of our journey to bring down the cost of travel and we want to look at what we can do next to improve the offer for more young people.”
Elisabeth Tasker, Managing Director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said:
“It’s important for us to make bus travel as affordable and convenient for young people as possible and we are pleased MyTicket has been so well received. This is an excellent example of how working in partnership with Merseytravel and other bus operators has provided tangible benefits to passengers.”
Howard Farrall, Area Managing Director Arriva Merseyside, added:
“MyTicket has been a huge success and its great so many young people are travelling by bus throughout Merseyside. We are delighted the ticket has been so well received.”
Already more than one million MyTickets have sold and young people have hailed it as a great way of getting out and about and meeting up with friends without breaking the bank.
During a recent focus group with young people, schoolchildren from Rainhill and Broadgreen schools gave lots of positive feedback, with comments including: “£2…goes a long way”, “MyTicket is brilliant, don’t ever stop doing it,” “I love MyTicket because it’s my ticket,” and “MyTicket takes me here, there and everywhere”.
It is just one way that Merseytravel is working with partners to help young people by removing potential barriers to access education, work and leisure opportunities.
Options for extending MyTicket to the age of 19 are currently being explored due to feedback from young people and the compulsory age of education increasing to 18 from September 2015.
For a list of the participating bus operators and also ideas on places to visit using MyTicket, visit Merseytravel’s website www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Tickets/Pages/My-Ticket.aspx