FREE to Choose Bus

6 months ago Fri 29th Sep 2023

FREE to Choose Bus

Bus travel in Scotland is absolutely FREE if you are under 22 or over 60 and living in Scotland!  

Whether it's popping to the shops, exploring your local area, spending time with family and friends or keeping active by accessing one of the many walks and cycle paths which surround the Scottish Borders, bus can get you there - saving you money, reducing stress and cutting your carbon emissions.

Have a look at our new video showcasing just some of the benefits of FREE bus travel!  In keeping the campaign real, local people – under 22 and over 60 - were enlisted to promote the many benefits of bus travel. This included children of some of the team at Borders Buses and parents of officers at Scottish Borders Council. 

The campaign, Free to Choose Bus, is a year-long initiative focusing on the range of benefits of bus travel and is led by Scottish Borders Council and Borders Buses, other operators on board include Houston’s, Peter Hogg and Telfords.  

Passenger boarding a Borders Bus with a bike



Why choose the bus?

  • FREE to go greener – more people on buses means fewer cars on the road, which reduces damaging carbon emissions and improves air quality. Think about times you can use a bus instead of taking the car and help Scotland to meet its net zero goals.
  • FREE to save - If you are under 22, over 60, or have a disability you can travel for free. For others, different types of tickets are available to suit how often you travel and save you money.
  • FREE to see and do - taking the bus opens up lots of possibilities to explore your local area and all that it has to offer, whether it's a trip to the Pavillion cinema, cycling at Glentress, a day trip to St Abbs or visiting the Great Tapestry of Scotland there's so much to see and do in the Borders.
  • FREE to be independent - free bus travel means that you can travel independently without having to rely on either your own car or getting a lift! 
  • FREE to be active - many of our buses are "bike buses" allowing you to take your bus on board, perfect for exploring the plentiful supply of walking and cycling tracks in the Borders and beyond.  
  • FREE to spend time - free bus travel allows you to spend more time with the people you love.  Day out with the grandchildren? With under 22s and over 60s entitled to free bus travel, your day out could be absolutely free!
  • FREE to recharge - taking the bus instead of driving means relaxing without worrying about stopping for petrol, dealing with congestion, or finding somewhere to park.  Hop on the bus along the coast to soak up the amazing scenery and get away from it all -  and, don't forget, you can even "recharge" your mobile phone onboard!

Hands holding NEC card

New to using bus?

Just got your NEC card and feeling a bit daunted about using bus?  Maybe it's been a while and you're not sure what's changed.  We're here to help, here are our top tips for using the bus:

➡️ Download the Borders Buses app! From planning journeys to tracking your bus live, there's a whole host of functions to make your journey easier!

➡️ Pop into the Hub at Galashiels Transport Interchange, Hannah, our customer service advisor is super friendly and can give you lots of advice on which bus to get, where to get it and the best ticket to buy. Nothing beats advice from an actual, real person.

➡️ Pick up one of our printed timetables, these are great for popping in your bag for the services you use the most. We're gradually getting back to printing more and more of these but you can now pick up timetables for our most popular services, either on bus or at the Galashiels Transport Interchange.

➡️ Don't forget, you can also call us on 01896 754350. We'll be happy to help and get you where you need to be.

Photo of the Borders Buses app with the information hub in the background

Hear from some real people benefiting from FREE travel

Derek Taylor: "I think it is brilliant we can travel free on buses across Scotland. I love to walk, and Borders Buses serves some fantastic walking routes including a few which are part of Scotland’s Great Trails. I look forward to seeing myself on the big screen and would encourage those folk over 60 who still don’t have their free bus pass to apply today, it saves money and gets you out and about more which is good for your general well-being and bank balance.” 

Derek getting on bus with his bike

Megan Koszteyn, aged 14 from Clovenfords said: “My friend Kirsty and I took part in the photo shoot and filming, it was good fun and we both look forward to seeing the videos and posters online and on the buses.  I’ve had my free bus pass for about a year now and it's a great way to get and about with friends without having to rely on mum or dad to take me there.” 

Friends enjoying a drink in the cafe of The Great Tapestry of Scotland

How do I get my free travel?

Find out more and apply today at  Don't delay, apply today to ensure you are FREE to choose bus.

Derek at the interchange free to save