Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel
Young people who are 5-21 years old living in Scotland can now apply to access free bus travel.
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.
Ts and Cs Stuff
Parents or guardians must apply on behalf of 5-15 year olds. Young people who are 16-21 years old can apply themselves. Children under 5 years old already travel for free on buses and don’t need a card, and anyone using a National Entitlement Card for free travel due to a disability do not need to re-apply.
How to Apply for Free Bus Travel
There are several ways to apply for a new or replacement Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC):
- Online at getyournec.scot. You can find out more information about the applications process and what documents you need on the getyournec.scot website.
- Directly with your local council. You can find their details on the Young Scot website. Scroll down and select your local council area.
For more information about the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme, please visit freebus.scot.
With your Young Scot NEC you also get access to other travel discounts if you are 16,17 or 18 years old and if you are a full time volunteer aged up to 25 years old.
- If you are aged 16, 17 or 18 years old you get discounted rail travel, plus ferry vouchers for Scottish Island residents
- If you are a full time volunteer aged up to 25 years old you get discounted rail travel, discounted bus travel, plus ferry vouchers for Island residents
If you are 16,17 or 18 years old (or up to 25 years old and a full time volunteer) you will get 1/3 discount off of rail travel.
You can also buy a season ticket (weekly, monthly) at a 50% discount.
Please ensure you have your Young Scot card with you when you travel. You cannot buy tickets for anyone else using your Young Scot card.
- If you before 10 am Monday– Friday, a minimum-spend limit of £12 applies in order to get a 1/3rd discount. These restrictions do not apply in July and August, or if you are purchasing a season ticket.
- Tickets should be bought in person from the ticket office or on the train to claim your rail discount. Simply ask for the Young Scot discount and show your card to get the reduced fare. Please note: Tickets should only be bought on the train where a ticket cannot be bought at the station due to no ticket office or ticket machine.
- You might be able to book on-line via the ScotRail website or by calling 0330 303 0111 but please check this before you buy as the discount is not always provided by online ticket providers.
Visit the National Rail website for terms and conditions.
If you are aged 16,17 or 18 and live on a Scottish island you will receive four ferry vouchers which gives you to two free return ferry journeys to the mainland each year.
The vouchers are valid from 1 April to 31 March of the following year and you get them automatically until you turn 19 (or 26 for full-time volunteers).
If you have received ferry vouchers because you are aged 16-18, you must be under 19 on the date you travel. Ferry terminal staff will check you have a valid Young Scot card and ferry voucher when you travel and will also check the date of birth on your Young Scot card.
You will require a valid Young Scot card and valid ferry voucher when you book and will need to have these on the day of travel or you will need to pay for the journey.
Discounted bus travel for full time volunteers
Full time volunteers aged between 19-21 years old (inclusive) are entitled to free bus travel under the Young Persons’ Free Bus Travel Scheme. In addition, when aged 22-25 years old (inclusive) you’re also eligible for discounted bus travel if you volunteer for more than 30 hours a week.
You'll need to submit an up to date letter from a senior official in a recognised volunteering organisation which confirms your name, full postal address, and that you volunteer with that organisation for 30+ hours per week.
Your Young Scot NEC also gives full-time volunteers a 1/3 discount off the adult single fare on almost all local and long-distance buses in Scotland. It also works on services to and from Carlisle and Berwick-Upon-Tweed from anywhere in Scotland. Book in advance or just show your card when you jump on a bus.
Getting the discount is simple. Place your card on the electronic ticketing machine, state your destination to the driver and your discount will automatically be calculated.
For more information about concessionary travel discounts, please visit the Transport Scotland website.