07 May 2015
Stagecoach today (7 May 2014) announced the introduction of discounted travel for young people on all of its bus services in Wales.
The company – which is Wales’ biggest bus operator – is launching a pilot scheme which will entitle everyone under 19 years old to receive a third off all Stagecoach bus tickets on every Stagecoach service in Wales.
The scheme, which begins on 2 June, is thought to be the first time a major bus operator has introduced a national initiative of this kind. It is hoped it will encourage more young people to use public transport as well as removing barriers for those seeking education and employment opportunities.
Those taking advantage of the discount will be able to enjoy unlimited bus travel at great value prices. A 1 Week Cardiff Megarider ticket will offer great value for students aged under 19 years old who will benefit from unlimited travel for £7.80 per week compared to the full adult fare of £11.70.
Young people in Wales are being invited to apply online for a Stagecoach VIP smartcard. At first, the card will be used as a means to obtain the discount from the driver or to validate an on-line purchase. Once smartcard readers are installed on all Stagecoach buses in South Wales their discounted travel can be stored on the card electronically, meaning there will be no need for a paper ticket. They will simply hold the card over the ticket reader on the bus to record their journeys. Passengers can continue loading new products on to their VIP card until the date of their 19th birthday on which they will revert to paying the full adult fare.
The discounted travel will apply to all Stagecoach bus tickets in South Wales, including singles, returns, weekly, monthly and annual tickets. More details are available at www.stagecoach-vip.com.
Last month, research by the National Union of Students (NUS) Wales found that financial difficulties were putting a strain on students' ability to stay in education and concentrate on their studies. The Pound in Your Pocket survey* reported that a third of students in Wales have seriously considered leaving their course, with most blaming the cost of living, including accommodating and transport costs, which impact heavily on students from rural areas.
Stagecoach South Wales Managing Director John Gould said: “We understand that financial constraints can make it very challenging for young people to access education, employment and future opportunities. Stagecoach already offers the best value bus fares in Britain and this new discount scheme will make it even cheaper for young people to use the bus to get to where they need to be – leaving them more money to cover other costs.
“It will assist those attending school, as well as those carrying out the first years of further education, and we hope young people will take advantage of the chance to use our greener, smarter and even better value bus travel.”
To mark the launch of the VIP card and discount, teenagers in South Wales are being given the opportunity to take part in an exciting summer placement as Stagecoach in South Wales searches for four Directors of Teenage Communication.
The company is touring local schools and colleges to encourage teens to enter the competition to win a Very Important Position (VIP) as ‘Director of Teenage Communications’.
On top of a modest salary of £500 for the 6-week (CHECK) placement, this special summer job will involve attending and reviewing events during the summer, including concerts, restaurants and films, while using, and promoting, their Stagecoach South Wales VIP travel card to get around by bus. The successful applicants will also help to create campaigns to reach the teenage market in South Wales.
John Gould added: “This is a great opportunity for young people in Wales to undertake a position that will allow them to put something unique and special on their CV. Not only will they get paid, but using their VIP card to get around on the bus, they will blog, tweet, video and share everything a teenager can do in the region – creating an online ‘Teen Out Guide’.”
Young people who will be aged between 16 and 18 years on 7 July 2014, and who live in South Wales, can apply for one of the jobs – whether as an individual or as a group of four - by sharing their top place to go or top thing to do in South Wales via a photo, video or blog post. This can be done via Twitter, Facebook or Google+ they should tag it with #StagecoachVIP before emailing the link and a screenshot to [email protected].