With young people listing the cost of transport as their number one concern according to the Campaign for Better Transport 2013, it was inevitable that something had to be done about the cost of rising bus fares throughout Merseyside.
Merseytravel and the bus operators of Merseyside came up with a great solution, that is getting young people out and about without breaking the bank.
The £2 MyTicket was first launched in May for young people aged 5 to 15, it offers all day travel across the Merseyside bus network and is seen as an affordable option for young people who want to explore the city region or meet up with friends during the school holidays.
Merseytravel already offered young people the young person’s Saveaway offered from as little as £2.50 in their ticketing grange, but it was prompted to introduce My Ticket after an online petition was set up, primarily to ask Merseytravel and the bus operators of Merseyside to lower the price for young person’s travel.
MyTicket differs to a young person’s Saveaway as it can be bought on bus – unlike the Saveaway, it can also be used before 9.30am and the ticket it valid on any operator’s service who is participating in the scheme.
Fifteen-year-old Stefan Price from Bootle has been taking advantage of MyTicket over the summer. He said:
“I use MyTicket to socialise with friends and I love it because it has opened up so many new opportunities. I’ll meet up with my mates and we can now go to places we wouldn’t have normally visit at a much cheaper price. So far this summer I’ve been to Otterspool and Speke and I’m planning to visit lots more areas.”
Diane Devlin from Wallasey says her children use MyTicket regularly and as a parent she says the product helps ease the financial burden of public transport. She said:
“It’s so much cheaper to take the children out, especially during the summer holidays. Also, when you’re taking the car, you’re limited as to how many you can squeeze in. But with MyTicket numbers aren’t a problem and I’m able to arrange big group outings, which is a great way to spend time with our family and friends.”
Her son Ellis, aged 10, added:
“I love MyTicket because I can use it to get out and about to see my friends and family. It’s also nice that it helps save my parents money too.”
Early feedback suggests an encouraging take up of MyTicket, with almost 57,000 MyTickets sold in the first week of the summer holidays alone, which could have reduced the cost of travel by more than 50 percent.
It is one way that Merseytravel is working with partners to help young people by removing potential barriers to education, work and leisure opportunities.
Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel, said:
“We launched MyTicket in May as the start of the city region’s pledge to address the growing call for a more affordable, fair and consistent deal for young people and early indications are that it’s proving popular.
“We hope that they take advantage of this ticket throughout the summer and beyond.”
Merseytravel has also launched a ‘50 things to do before you’re 15 and three-quarters with MyTicket’ competition. It comprises of a list of places to visit is on the Merseytravel website but eagle-eyed young people will have spotted there are not quite 50 listed and help is needed.
Youngsters are being asked for their favourite places to go with their MyTicket to be entered into a prize draw for an iPad mini. Details can be found by clicking this link, or send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merseytravel is also running a MyTicket selfie campaign on social media to encourage MyTicket users to post fun photographs while they’re out and about on their journeys. Send in your selfie to the Merseytravel Twitter account @Mersetravel.