Bus deal saves St Andrews students and staff over £500,000

Wednesday 11 October 2023

A pilot scheme between the University of St Andrews and bus firm Stagecoach which gives staff and students 75% off bus travel, has reached a major milestone – saving over half a million pounds in less than a year.

The project saved £501, 351 between its launch at the end of last year and the end of August this year.

Described by some staff as “life-changing” and “the best thing ever”, the bus travel discount is used, on average, by 1500 staff and students (those not already entitled to the Scottish Government’s free bus travel for the under-22’s scheme) per month. Not only can those buying bus ticket bundles use them for work or study, but their flexible nature means they can be used in evenings and weekends too, helping household budgets during challenging times.

The unique partnership is one of several measures by the University to support staff and students during the cost-of-living and energy crisis. It has also resulted in the University significantly reducing its carbon footprint by 448 tonnes of CO2e – the equivalent of 2,231 return flights from Edinburgh to London – in just nine months. Taking the bus instead of travelling by car has resulted in staff and students cutting their own footprint for each journey by 37%.

Commenting on the financial savings for staff and students, the University’s Chief Operating Officer Derek Watson said: “The University places social responsibility at the heart of all it does and it’s right that we should do all we can to support our staff, students and their families through the cost-of-living crisis. The substantial investment we have made in this scheme, working with Stagecoach, has had a hugely positive impact financially and helped us make significant strides towards our ambitious net-zero targets.

“To say we have saved staff and students over half a million pounds is a huge milestone and I’m pleased colleagues and students see the massive value of getting on board with this scheme. I hope more people will see the benefits not only in terms of saving money but also in helping the environment.”

Sarah Elliott, Commercial Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: “The partnership approach between the University of St Andrews and Stagecoach has yielded excellent results in less than a year, showing a real commitment to carbon reduction in the area.  Using the bus is already easier on the pocket than paying for fuel, parking and car maintenance costs but the additional savings available through this discount scheme come at a crucial time.”

More information on the bus travel discount is available here

The discount scheme is a funded partnership with the University of St Andrews and Stagecoach. University staff and students can access discounted tickets via a bespoke version of the Stagecoach Bus app.  Customers buy their tickets on the app for 75% less than the retail price

A podcast, filmed and recorded as part of the University’s Scotland’s Future Series project also featured a discussion on the University’s cost-of-living support measures.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category University news

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