As of 1 September all under-16s can travel free on Londons buses and trams. Figures from Transport for London show that there has already been a good response. Applications for Child Oyster photo-cards, which are needed by 14- and 15-year-olds to access free travel are running at a rate of 2,500 a day and a total of over 45,000 young people have already applied. Under 13s have no need of any pass or ticket and can board any London bus or tram for free.
The scheme aims to encourage young people to use public transport, easing traffic congestion and limiting pollution, as well as to help improve access to education, sport and leisure activities for families who find it hard to afford the high price of transport in London. Currently under-16s make 252 million bus journeys a year and this figure is destined to rise by an estimated 20 per cent when the impact of the free travel scheme is felt.
Transport authorities have warned that anyone abusing the concession will have their right to free travel withdrawn.