Unique University bus discount deal hits £1 million mark

Thursday 28 March 2024

A major milestone has been marked in a pioneering partnership between the University of St Andrews and bus operator Stagecoach.

Just 13 months after the University launched its 75% off bus fare subsidy, the discount scheme has recorded savings of more than £1 million for staff and students.

Welcoming the news, University of St Andrews Principal Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE said: “Reaching the £1 million mark is very significant. Our partnership with Stagecoach provides tangible financial support to staff and students and demonstrates the University’s commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, and innovation.”

Professor Mapstone added: “We have also joined forces with local bus operator Moffat & Williamson further to drive down the University’s carbon footprint by 880 tonnes and launched a bus-side advertising scheme on Stagecoach buses throughout North East Fife and Tayside to encourage more people to take advantage of the cost savings.”

The news of the partnership’s success has been welcomed by University staff who have become regular bus users thanks to the discount scheme.

Staff member Polina Prokhorova, who travels from her home in Newport-on-Tay to the University each day, said the bus travel discount saves her both time and money: “The discount scheme is great; it helps save a substantial amount of money and I can plan my budget more easily. The 75% discount feels like the University is also taking care of my wellbeing.”

The scheme has also been welcomed by procurement assistant David Dorrington, who has taken his motorbike off the road, opting to travel by bus from his home in the Howe of Fife to the University’s Eden Campus to save money and reduce vehicle emissions.

He said: “The scheme has proved invaluable. As a new homeowner having to budget carefully, it’s made a major contribution to my quality of life. The addition of Moffat & Williamson services has been great too.”

Sarah Elliott, Commercial Director, Stagecoach East Scotland, said she was delighted to see the scheme hit the £1 million mark: “We’re immensely proud of our partnership with the University of St Andrews and it’s fantastic to see so many staff and students benefit from the discounted tickets available.

“The ticketing scheme is one of the first of its kind in the country and has been shortlisted for several awards, including the ‘Partnership for Excellence’ category at the UK Bus Awards 2023 and the ‘Transport Team – Partnership of the Year’ category at the upcoming Scottish Transport Awards 2024.”

The bus travel discount scheme was launched in November 2022.

To date the 75% bus travel discount has saved students and staff £1, 008.394. The 880 tonnes of carbon saved equates to a 37% reduction in carbon emissions compared to travelling by car.

In the first year, the University of St Andrews invested 50% of the costs, Stagecoach 25%, and passengers paid 25%. The investment is now split between the University and Stagecoach to ensure the discount for staff and students remains at 25%.

The scheme is open to all staff and students aged over 22 and those not eligible for the Scottish Government’s free bus travel scheme.

In December 2023 the project was shortlisted in the UK Bus Awards. It has been shortlisted in the Partnership Award category of the Scottish Transport Awards due to be held in Glasgow in June.

Category University news

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