Figures show 23,000 young people are now benefiting from cheaper travel in South Yorkshire with a Zoom Beyond 18-21 Travel Pass.
Documents show the policy has cost £6.7 million to the mayoral combined authority and this will be funded from gainshare funding from Government and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) resources.
A recent survey showed that Zoom Beyond saves pass holders money, makes it easier to access education, training and employment and encourages the use of public transport.
Over 75 per cent of 18 to 21 years old in South Yorkshire currently travel by bus and over half by tram at least once a month.
Zoom Beyond is valid on over 175 routes in South Yorkshire, on services operated by First, Stagecoach, TM Travel, Powell’s and Supertram.
“Council leaders and I took the decision in 2021 to extend this concession to cover everyone aged 21 and under in South Yorkshire because, while the past couple of years have been tough on us all, it’s been particularly tough on our young people.
“The offer was a great way to encourage people back on our buses and support our transport system. We need to make sure that passenger numbers return to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible so we can maintain the financial viability of the network and tackle the associated traffic congestion and air pollution that comes from a dependency on cars.
“During my time as mayor, transforming public transport to deliver the system South Yorkshire deserves has been a top priority.
“I’m proud to have unlocked millions of funding to help achieve this, but also to have introduced schemes such as Zoom Beyond which brings real, practical changes that passengers benefit from.
“Reaching one million journeys milestone shows that, if the offer is there, people will take it up and make the most of it.”
Applications can be made at travelsouthyorkshire.com/ZoomBeyond