Institute of Public Policy - Changing Young Lives with free bus travel

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Changing Young Lives with free bus travel

25 Feb 2011

Young Londoners aged under 16 have been able to access free bus and tram travel since September 2005. This was extended to under 18 year olds in education, work or training in September 2006.

One incentive for this policy was to decrease ‘transport exclusion’, and ensure that access to goods, services, education and training opportunities were not denied to some young people because of transport-poverty. This practice was expected to increase health outcomes because access to transport is linked to well-being; however other effects of free bus travel have occurred.

The ‘One the Buses’ study explored the effects of free bus travel on access to transport, and on the amount of healthier ‘active transport’ (walking and cycling) in both young people and older age groups before and after the free bus travel intervention. The impact on road traffic injuries and assaults was measured because it was hypothesised that young people travelling for longer distances may be more exposed to minor crime and assault. This data was then compared with data from other cities and amongst those people included and excluded from free bus travel. Another question posed was whether reduced access to transport occurred for other age groups where, for instance, the buses become too full, or older people felt intimidated. Dr Alasdair Jones interviewed younger and older bus users in London about their bus journeys in the capital and will share the extensive On the Buses’ findings.

Alasdair has previously worked as the London Co-ordinator at Living Streets - a charity that campaigns on behalf of pedestrians in the UK. Subsequently, Alasdair was appointed to the Royal Society for the Arts where he worked on their 'Connected Communities' project which sought to develop a social network for regenerating local communities through the operationalisation of latent stocks of social capital. Since joining the University of London, Alasdair has further explored his research interests concerning the sociology of urban life, with a particular emphasis on public transport, active travel and urban design.

When:  12.00 - 1.30pm Thursday 17th March

Where:Institute of Public Policy, Level 2, 350 Queen Street, Auckland CBD

Please rsvp to  rhannah@aut.ac.nz by Friday 11 March as numbers are limited.
Last updated: 25 Feb 2011 3:30pm

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