Deputy Rob Ward has lodged an amendment to the proposed Government Plan, which is set to be debated on 14 December, to create a bus pass system for young people up to the age of 18.
The Reform Jersey Deputy estimated the change would save families £260 a year on school bus travel alone and said that a single annual charge of £20 would ‘cover the administration costs of the scheme’.
In his amendment, Deputy Ward added: ‘This initiative targets the younger generation in order to instil a lasting behavioural shift away from the reliance on private vehicles and ensures that there are minimal barriers to mobility and accessibility around the Island.’
Deputy Ward said it ‘provides a simple way for parents to provide a bus pass for their children at an affordable cost’.
‘For many this may be a pass that is used occasionally but it changes the culture of thought about travel and gives a genuine option for travel.
‘For families, the removal of costs for the children in the family may encourage parents to use public transport during leisure time and not drive,’ he said.
The bus pass would ‘significantly reduce living costs’ for families supporting children in further education, Deputy Ward said, adding that his scheme would support the aims of the Island’s sustainable transport policy, by reducing car use and congestion, and help hit Jersey’s decarbonisation target.
He wants the Infrastructure Minister to establish the scheme from the beginning of next year, if the amendment is successful.
Deputy Ward has lodged similar plans to reduce the cost of bus travel for young Islanders before.
He lodged two proposals in 2020 – both defeated – which closely resembled his current amendment to the Island Plan, while he also proposed a plan aimed at making all bus travel free for under-18s and full-time students as soon as possible, and a further commitment to develop a plan by December 2020 relating to free bus transport for all which was also rejected by the States Assembly.