Free birthday month bus travel in Bristol: When does it start and how to apply

The first passengers to benefit from the scheme will be those with birthdays in August
Empty buses lined up on Union Street.Empty buses lined up on Union Street.
Empty buses lined up on Union Street.

A new scheme has been launched offering bus users free travel for the whole month of their birthday. The first passengers to benefit from the Birthday Buses scheme will be those with birthdays in August.

The innovative initiative has come from Labour Mayor Dan Norris in a drive to get more people using their local buses. The scheme is also designed to assist in the region’s wider ambition to grow bus passenger numbers and cut carbon emissions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Norris says he hopes Birthday Buses will act as a catalyst for bus travel in the West of England and North Somerset regions to boost the number of passengers and, with a whole month of free travel, encourage a long-term shift in travel behaviour.

He said: “I hope Birthday Buses encourage new people to hop on the bus and try it out - perhaps for a regular commute, to go to the shops, a restaurant, or to spend their weekends enjoying the amazing attractions and great beauty of our region.

“If you try it, I think you might like it. Maybe even grow to love it! We really need more people using buses to cut congestion, pollution and noise - and meet our important and very ambitious 2030 net-zero targets. I hope this will also be a help to residents during this unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. So please sign up today for your free Birthday Bus pass.

“We can’t keep trying the same things on buses and hoping for different outcomes by magic. What’s great about Birthday Buses is it’s innovative and new. It’s about growing passenger numbers so that we can have a sustainable bus network.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s also helpful for data collection so we can track which new passengers are using buses, how many people make a switch, and long-term changes in bus use. This in turn will assist in attracting even more passengers so as to make further improvements to the bus network.”

Who qualifies for the free bus travel?

Every resident in the West of England is being offered free bus travel throughout the whole month of their birthday.

What do I need?

Residents will need an address in the West of England and a digital photo to apply. Under 18s will require additional ID to verify your age, to make sure that the bus operators are reimbursed the correct fares. You have to upload a clear picture of your passport or birth certificate, or if you’re over-16, a picture of your driving licence (full or provisional) will also be accepted.

What if I don’t have these?

If you can’t upload these, you can obtain a letter from an authorised professional. They’ll need to have known you more than two years and confirm your name, address and age.

What about photo ID?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

You’ll need recent digital, passport-style photo that meets the standard photo-pass requirements - that means just you in the picture, contrasting clearly against a light background and with no ‘red-eye’.

When does it start?

It started today.

How do I apply?

You just need to visit to register.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.