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New travel scheme for care leavers is just the ticket

Young care leavers in Renfrewshire can take advantage of a new travel scheme as a multi-partner travel scheme expands its services.

left to right – Caroline Wilson, Project Manager at Transport Scotland, Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team Leader, Fiona Taylor, Renfrewshire’s Council Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, and McGill’s Head of Operations, Colin Napier

The smart ticketing scheme, delivered by Renfrewshire Council, Transport Scotland, McGill’s and Young Scot, launched earlier this year to address transport issues faced by many young people in the area, particularly around travelling for work and study.

left to right – Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services Team Leader, Fiona Taylor, Renfrewshire’s Council Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, McGill’s Head of Operations, Colin Napier, and Caroline Wilson, Project Manager at Transport Scotland

The new service enables young people in Renfrewshire Council’s throughcare and aftercare service to have travel tickets preloaded onto their Young Scot cards, which can be redeemed on-board McGill’s services.

Renfrewshire Council helped to develop and fund this scheme after hearing young people say that transport can be a barrier to them accessing opportunities in the area due to cost and geography.

The scheme is part of a range of initiatives aimed at providing young people with advice and financial support that will help them break down barriers and reach their full potential regardless of their backgrounds.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Young people have told us that they often find transport cost and geography a barrier to them when they are looking to take up job opportunities, studying or even being part of the community.

“Expanding on the smart tickets scheme to support young people in Renfrewshire Council’s throughcare and aftercare services is a significant step forward in supporting those who experience the most barriers towards reaching their full potential.

“Renfrewshire Council is the first local authority in the country to be involved in this initiative and we know it is already making a real difference. The scheme is a significant example of how working together with partners can change lives for people who need that support.”

Young Scot cards that are used as smart tickets are part of Transport Scotland’s nationwide smart card infrastructure and the Young Scot National Entitlement Card is available to all young people aged 11-25.

Scottish Government’s Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “This is an excellent example of how partnership working can deliver real smart ticketing benefits, not just in the way the tickets are loaded onto cards but also in how we can use it to support vulnerable groups.

“It is essential we make the transition from care into an independent adulthood as seamless as possible. By making it easier for young people to access education and training, support services and society, we can help them lay down solid foundations for a future with prospects.”

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said: “McGill’s is happy that the significant investment of over £1 million made in ticket machines and supporting infrastructure is helping to facilitate these potentially life changing social initiatives.”

This new travel initiative is the latest example of how Young Scot smart cards can be used to enhance the quality of life for young people most in need.

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said: “We are again delighted to be working with Transport Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and McGill’s on this programme.

“Transport is one of the key barriers young people face and this is a great example of how the Young Scot National Entitlement Card can be used to promote equality.

“This programme can make a profound impact in supporting young care leavers as they transition through a key period of their life, helping them to continue participating in education or helping them to seek employment and we hope that the success of this programme will encourage other organisations to adopt similar initiatives.”

Young people who attend the Youth Employability Hub in Paisley have been able to access the smart ticketing scheme since January this year.

For more information on the smart ticket scheme, visit  www.youngscot.org/renfrewshire.