The new scheme was given the green light last week by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and will see an extra 31,000 young people across the metropolitan area benefiting from a 50% discount.
Only those aged between 16 and 18 and in full-time education are currently eligible for half price travel, but this will now be extended to those on apprenticeships or traineeships who currently have to pay the full adult fare.
The scheme will be executed by the WMCA’s transport arm, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which will pay bus and tram companies a subsidy to contribute towards the cost of the discount.
Mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “Young apprentices and trainees are often some of the lowest paid employees so being charged the full fare to travel can take a huge chunk out of their wages.
“It may also be a contributing factor in why some drop out before completing their apprenticeships and that is a shame.
“Not only does that hurt their own future, it also hurts the future prosperity of our region because it’s critical our young people are equipped with the skills needed to fill the jobs being created here.
“We hope this scheme will make it easier for them to continue on their chosen career path.”
The law requires all young people between the ages of 16 and 18 to either be in full-time education or to undertake an apprenticeship or a traineeship. This means the half price travel deal will now apply to all 105,000 West Midlands youngsters in that age bracket, 74,000 of which are in full-time education.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA lead on transport and leader of Wolverhampton Council said: “The WMCA has been committed to making bus travel more affordable for young people because we recognise the positive impact that can have on young lives.
“Our transport arm – TfWM – has been working hard with bus, tram and train operators to make this happen and it’s great news for young people.
“We hope they will now take full advantage of this scheme over the coming year.”
Apprentices and trainees will be required to prove their date of birth and that they live in the metropolitan West Midlands in order to receive the discount. A photo card will then be issued which enables them to buy tickets from the child range which are half the price of adult tickets.
Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure