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This major UK city could trial free public transport

Glaswegians — we don’t want to get your hopes up, but your city could be on its way towards offering totally free public transport. 

Glasgow City Council has officially been given support to develop a pilot that will give locals access to buses and the subway on the house. It hopes that providing free transport would help reduce inequality in the city and be a step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions.

A pilot would see 1,000 people between the ages of 22 to 59 given free access to public transport for nine weeks straight. People outside of that age range already have free bus travel in the city. 

The scheme would work by providing each participant with preloaded travel cards, allowing them to access all modes of transport within zones 1 and 2 of the city. 

Obviously, the pilot won’t come cheap. It’s expected to cost around £250,000, and while funds have been allocated to support the development of the trial, no money has been allocated for its actual delivery yet.

Once more funding is secured and the pilot goes ahead, data and responses from participants would be used to ‘feed into wider decision-making on the future of public transport within Glasgow’. 

If it was to be rolled out, a study revealed that offering every Glaswegian age 22 to 59 free public transport over nine weeks would cost around £95.7 million. And that’s not including extra back office and admin costs. 

Everything is still in its early stages, but watch this space! Transport in one of the UK’s biggest cities could soon get a radical overhaul. 

Public transport in the UK

With millions of us relying on buses, trams and trains day in and day out, it’s only right that we at Time Out keep you updated on all goings on in the world of public transport. For example, these are the British cities doing public transport best, this is apparently England’s worst bus operator and this city is officially the UK’s electric bus capital. And of course, we’ve got a regularly updated guide to train strikes across the country

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