Free South Yorkshire bus travel helps thousands of young people
This summer thousands of young people from across the region have benefited from free bus travel when taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme in partnership with EFL Trust, thanks to First South Yorkshire.
The two to four-week NCS programme, which is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds across the country, consists of four phases; the first phase involves outdoor team-building exercises and the second phase is a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’. The third phase is spent putting all these new skills into practice when the teens plan and carry out a social action project. Bus travel is an integral part of young people’s lives and First South Yorkshire has offered free travel for the young people carrying out their community projects over the past two years.
The partnership between First South Yorkshire and EFL Trust has been ongoing since 2016 and has already had a positive impact on young people and their ability to give back to the community. In South Yorkshire, NCS has been delivered by several football clubs including Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Doncaster Rovers.
When asked about the benefits the free mTicket has provided, Yasmin Aziz, who took part in the NCS programme in Rotherham, said: “I can travel with my friends, which makes the social action project a lot more social and my parents don’t have to pay for fuel anymore. I don’t see why anyone in our generation wouldn’t use the mTickets app, it’s just so convenient and we all live on our phones anyway!”
Cameron Boulding, summer 2018 NCS participant from Rotherham, added: “We get to travel with our friends, so if we’re not sure where we’re going, we have more confidence. There’s less pressure to have money ready [for the driver] as you have the ticket ready on your phone. I’d be more likely to use transport now, as it’s boosted my confidence, so it’s not as scary to get on a bus.”
Allan Riggall, Head of Commercial at First South Yorkshire, said: “First South Yorkshire is extremely pleased with the positive impact that working with NCS has had on young people throughout the summer in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster. The partnership has allowed young people still in education to travel safely, conveniently and free, to the activities. By using our network, young people can benefit from unlimited bus travel, for just £7 per week on the mTickets app. We look forward to our continued involvement with NCS in the future.”
Charlotte Dinsdale, NCS Programme Manager, at EFL Trust: “We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with First South Yorkshire. This year has been a huge success and allowed for young people taking part in NCS to travel across South Yorkshire and supported over 100,000 hours of social action in local communities. Not only do the tickets allow the young people to deliver a social action project in their local community, but it also gives them independence and boosts their confidence to use public transport which is integral for teenagers.