Young people receiving exam results this summer have another reason to celebrate – they can now get free tram travel and 50% discounts on bus and train.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has waived the £10 fee for 16-18 photocards for all 105,000 young people aged 16 to 18 in the West Midlands.
The fee was removed after some young people starting apprenticeships and college courses said the expense was a barrier for them.
Mayor Andy Street said: “Summer is a busy and nervous time for 16 to 18-year-olds, many of whom will have received A-level results last week, or will be awaiting their GCSE results this Thursday.
“We know that young people cannot afford to pay full-price for travel, especially if they’re going to college or just starting an apprenticeship.
“We’ve always offered discounts for those in full-time education to help them get around the West Midlands – and last year we extended the programme so even more young people could benefit, especially those starting apprenticeships.
“Now, we’ve waived the £10 photocard fee so everyone in the region aged 16 to 18 can get a 50% discount on travel, regardless of whether they’re an apprentice, in college or looking for what to do next.
“We hope this provides a really strong incentive for young people to find opportunities in the West Midlands – there are some great apprenticeships and training courses available.”
Cllr Roger Lawrence, leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and WMCA portfolio holder for transport, said: “We had a lot of feedback from young people in the region, and some said the £10 fee for a photocard had prevented them from buying one.
“So, we’ve waived the £10 charge to make the 16-18 photocard completely free.
“Anyone aged 16 to 18 can apply, that’s 105,000 eligible teenagers in the region. They get 50% off all travel on buses, trams and trains so it’s easy for them to get around the West Midlands whether they’re going into work, starting an apprenticeship or accessing further education.”
The changes mean there will only be one type of 16-18 photocard, usable by students, apprentices, trainees and those in employment. This will replace the two separate cards that currently exist.
Applicants will no longer need to reapply every year, as their card will be valid until July 31 of the academic year they turn 18.
All the new 16-18 photocards will also be Swift-enabled, allowing season tickets to be loaded onto the card – meaning card holders no longer need to carry a separate ticket as well as their photocards.
The photocards give young people discounted child singles, returns, term and season tickets for the bus, train and tram.
For more information about the 16-18 photocards, or to order one, visit networkwm.com/16-18.