Mayor Andy Burnham launched the Our Pass pilot membership scheme in mid 2019 and since then, more than 100,000 young people have joined the radical initiative.
The scheme is open to school leavers aged 16-18 and unlocks free bus travel and reduced tram travel across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester for three years, all for just a one-time payment of £10.
For many young people in the region, it means the difference between getting to the college they want to attend and the college they can afford to attend.
Speaking recently at the People’s Powerhouse This Is The North Convention at a public meeting of the Metro Mayors, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said:
“Transport mobility is social mobility.”
Referring to the effect the scheme has had for the young people of Greater Manchester, Mayor Burnham said:
“Kids are choosing different colleges in Greater Manchester because they can get there without worrying about the cost, and therefore are following dreams rather than just following what they can afford at 16.”
The scheme reflects the wider rhetoric from the GM Mayor that, as he said at the meeting, “we should have the cheapest public transport in the poorest parts of the country, but in fact we’ve got the opposite”
Speaking to InYourArea, 18 year-old Our Pass member Shania Keegan said: “Since I first got my Our Pass, I’ve been to quite a few events and it has really helped me get to college.
“I like that it’s good for young people like me to get from A to B free of charge and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities you get from it.”
Trafford Councillor Adele New told Mancunian Matters: “Without a doubt it is enabling independence for our young people and has removed the financial restrictions that had made limitless public transport use difficult, prior to the introduction of this initiative. It’s opened up GM to our youth.”
Alongside free travel, the membership offers exclusive offers and special offers for events, activities, and more around the region.
Young people wanting to access the Our Pass scheme can apply online, and under current plans, the pilot will run until 31st August 2022.