Bus-side showcase for unique St Andrews travel scheme

Friday 23 February 2024

Three people with two buses

A striking new bus-side advertising scheme showcasing the 600 tonnes of carbon saved by students and staff at the University of St Andrews in the last year has been launched.

A variety of images synonymous with St Andrews and its wider community including fudge doughnuts, red gowns and golf balls will feature on the side of single-decker buses on the local Stagecoach fleet over the next few weeks.

The carbon-saving is the result of a pioneering project launched by the University of St Andrews and Stagecoach in November 2022 in response to cost-of-living pressures and the climate crisis. The scheme – which offers staff and students 75% off bus travel across East Scotland – saved £700,000 in fares and cut the carbon footprint for those travelling for work or study by a phenomenal 614 tonnes in 2023.

The advertising campaign demonstrates how much carbon can be saved when people choose to use the bus and leave their cars at home. In this case, the carbon saving equates to the same weight as 3 million fudge doughnuts, 409,000 red gowns and 13.3 million golf balls.

University of St Andrews Chief Operating Officer, Derek Watson, said: “The bus subsidy was just one in a series of initiatives launched by the University to support our students and staff through the cost-of-living crisis. Since then, we’ve seen upwards of 2000 people, mostly staff, using the bus discount every month, and the feedback we’ve had is that it has significantly helped cut costs in these challenging times.

“As well as financial benefits, we’ve also seen a welcome reduction in the carbon footprint of those travelling to work, usually by car, by a massive 614 tonnes; that exceeds all our expectations. We hope the bus advertising campaign will help promote the discount further and help support our ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2035.”

Stagecoach East Scotland, Head of Commercial, Scott Hall, said: “It’s been amazing to see this trial scheme develop into the success it is today with such a huge carbon reduction in the region as a result of people leaving their cars at home and using our services to get to work or to study.

“This positive partnership approach between Stagecoach and the University of St Andrews has demonstrated strong results and massive cost savings for those signed up and we’re pleased to be able to support another operator, Moffat & Williamson, in providing discounted tickets via the Stagecoach Bus app too.”

As a result of its success, the University has continued the discount scheme for a further 12 months.

The project’s success received national recognition late last year when it was selected as a finalist in the UK Bus Awards ‘Partnership for Excellence’ category.

The video features an interview with University of St Andrews Chief Operating Officer Derek Watson, Vice-Principal (People and Diversity) Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, and Stagecoach East Scotland, Head of Commercial, Scott Hall, at the University's Eden Campus.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Sustainability

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