Free To Explore: The campaign getting young Scots on the bus

First Bus have launched a new campaign aimed at getting under-22s in Scotland to explore their cities with a music video, art installation, and a new microsite from The Skinny

Advertorial by The Skinny | 06 Mar 2023
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Under-22s in Scotland can ride the bus for free, and they should make the most of it. That’s the message of #FreeToExplore, a new campaign from First Bus aiming to inspire young people to make the most of their free travel around the country thanks to the Scottish Government’s Young Persons’ U22 Free Travel Scheme.

The centrepiece of the new campaign is a grime reimagining of Wheels on the Bus, in a new music video directed by Dominic O’Riordan. Watch the video in the YouTube player below.

First Bus have also commissioned Glasgow street art royalty Rogue One to produce a brand new mural at the Barras Market. Rogue One has adorned one of the shutters with a pair of birds' wings, in an area of the city well-known for its large-scale murals and street art scene.

Over half a million young Scots (578,000) have signed up for their free travel passes so far, with an average of 658,000 journeys being made in Glasgow each day by under-22 card holders. Thousands have been taking advantage of free bus travel so far, and #FreeToExplore aims to showcase the ease, convenience and environmental friendliness of riding the bus.

The team at The Skinny have also put together a hub of content designed to inspire young people to take the bus, with guides to exploring some of Scotland’s biggest cities, to a look at more environmentally friendly ways to explore Scotland and beyond. Click here to access the #FreeToExplore hub.

Duncan Cameron, Managing Director at First Bus, said: “Offering young people the freedom to explore their towns and cities, and get about independently, is incredibly important for social equality, personal growth and, of course, the environment. 

"With a generation of young people more focused and aware of their environmental impact than ever before, this travel offering will go a long way in helping to cement green transport habits by shifting away from frequent individual care use, and building a generation of frequent bus users.”

For more on the #FreeToExplore campaign, visit

Remember, if you are aged under-22 and living in Scotland, then free travel is within grasp. Make sure to apply for your NEC card to take advantage, leaving you #FreeToExplore at

Older than 22? Don’t panic! Bus remains a sustainable way to travel that won’t break the bank. Hop on board and do your bit for the planet next time you head out.