Glasgow’s free public transport scheme still uncertain

Glasgow could soon become the latest European city to offer free public transport to its citizens. The pilot scheme would initially be tested out on 1,000 Glaswegians – but it’s far from coming to fruition as funding has yet to be allocated.

The city is set to trial a pilot scheme which could see 1,000 people given cost-free access to all forms of public transport for nine weeks, says Euroonews. Glasgow City Council put forward the idea and has won some support for the pilot which, if successful, would determine if there should be a wider rollout to every resident.

The scheme has yet to secure full funding though, meaning there’s no guarantee it will go ahead – although lawmakers are still hopeful that it will come to fruition. If the pilot does work out and proves successful enough to merit a full rollout, Glasgow would be one of only a handful of cities in Europe to offer free public transport.

Hasselt in Belgium abolished fares in 1997 and has seen passenger numbers grow exponentially ever since. Estonia’s capital Tallinn has been offering free rides to all of its 420,000 citizens since a public vote in 2013. The entire micronation of Luxembourg also offers free public transport to locals and visitors alike – and a new scheme has recently extended this offering for commuters across the border in France.

In Glasgow, the pilot would see people between the ages of 22 and 59 as testers and each user would receive a preloaded travel card for cost-free transport for nine weeks.

They’d be able to access all buses, the city’s subway and local trains across Glasgow’s Zones 1 and 2.

At the end of the trial period, statistics would be examined closely, with experts analysing the pros and cons of providing free travel in the city, before deciding whether to move forward with broadening the scheme.

That’s all very much an “if” not “when” for now, though.

Councillors in Glasgow have only allocated funding to support the development of the potential of a pilot, but no funding has been allocated for the actual delivery of it at the present moment.


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now