A scheme in one of England’s largest cities is offering free bus travel to 16-18 year olds.

The Our Pass costs a tenner to register and then free travel wherever in the area you want or need to go.

It covers local bus travel in ten local council areas in Greater Manchester.

What a good idea. It allows young people to travel to school, college work leisure facilities without the additional cost of travel.

Buses in Glasgow are not cheap, and the fares rise faster than the buses go.

Bus firms get to pick and choose routes and axe then when they no longer think they make a profit.

We really need to think about public transport and the cost of it.

Currently many people get free bus travel though the Scotland wide concessionary fare scheme.

It is still being paid for. Every trip is charged to the Scottish Government and the money is going to the profits of bus companies.

For many people using the bus is not a choice, it is a necessity. People need to travel to get to work, to look for work, to get to hospital appointments.

Fares in some cases have gone up more than once a year. How many people get a pay rise twice in one year?

Public transport costs is becoming a big outlay in many households and they have little or no alternative but to fork out and take the cash from another part of their budget.

The bus fares, when they go up, go up by more than inflation rounded up to the nearest ten pence in many cases.

The cheapest fares are on the app goes the advertising slogan. So, if you don’t have a mobile phone that supports the technology then you will have to pay more.

There are too many fares depending on how often you use the bus.

And some people do not know how often they will be using the bus.

Take a worker on a zero hours contract, one week they might need five return journeys, in which case the weekly ticket pays of but in other cases if they have no shifts then they are paying for transport they are not using, and they are not earning. Money that could be better spent on

There is a solution to really simplify the fares structure.

Take the buses back into public control and pilot free bus fares.

It is happening in cities in mainland Europe and in the case of Estonia across the country.

Of course it has to be paid for. The buses cost money, the fuel costs money and the staff need paid.

But it can be paid for out of taxation, if there is a will.

And there are many other potential benefits.

If everybody is paying and the bus is free at the point of boarding then it is likely more people will use it.

If you would still rather drive your car into the city when there is a free bus then that’s your choice.

If it means fewer cars then there is more room for buses to move quicker.

So how about it. Take over the buses and run them for free.

THE temperature has dropped and the days are shortening.

It is noticeable that we are now heading towards winter and for too many people that means worrying if it will be their last.

The number of people visibly spending the night outside in Glasgow has increased in the last few years.

Not everyone we see on the streets during the day is spending the night outside but there are dozens on any given night out in the elements.

for a number of reasons these people have nowhere to call home. It is just one part, the most extreme part of homelessness.

Many others are stuck in some form of temporary accommodation, either a hostel, B&B or furnished flat.

There are efforts ongoing to try and improve the situation, changes to temporary accommodation and how long it can be offered for before a permanent tenancy is offered.

But as anyone working in any job that touches homelessness will tell you, the lack of a home is not the only problem but is instead the consequence of another problem or set of problems.

It is these problems that require investment and intervention to prevent people reaching the stage where they are without a home.

Once one the streets it opens up a whole new world of potential problems and a spiral that is hard to reverse.

Every single person you see on the streets at one time had a home, somewhere to live until other factors led to them losing it.

We need to help solve those problems.