The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority has approved a scheme that will allow the county's elderly and disabled people to travel free on local buses, trains and trams from 1 April 2006.
All Senior Citizens and Mobility Pass holders living in South Yorkshire, will keep all of the travel opportunities they have now - the only difference is they won't have to pay the 40p concessionary fare.
Time restrictions for senior citizens will remain unchanged, meaning pass holders will be able to travel free of charge from 09:00 weekdays, and at any time on weekends and Bank Holidays. Mobility Pass holders will be able to travel at all times.
They will also be able to travel free of charge to and from nearby towns outside South Yorkshire.
Transport Authority Chairman Councillor Mick Jameson said he was delighted with the decision.
"Since last year's Government announcement of free fares on buses, the Transport Executive and the Transport Authority have been championing the cause of concessions on trams and trains. Although the funding was only for buses, the Transport Executive has worked hard to bridge the gap and I am delighted the Authority was able to approve this measure today."
Speaking on behalf of all bus and tram operators in South Yorkshire, Duncan Roberts, Chairman of BOSSY (Bus Operators Serving South Yorkshire) said: "I am delighted that we have been able to agree a scheme locally with the Transport Authority and the Transport Executive and all operators welcome this opportunity to increase ridership on services in South Yorkshire."
To claim the free fare concession Senior Citizen and Mobility Pass holders MUST display a valid travel pass to the driver or conductor. Passes are available from the Transport Executive.
Over the last few months Transport Executive Customer Service staff have been visiting communities across South Yorkshire to renew Senior Citizen Passes which are due to expire by July 2006. Dates and times of this community renewal service are being published in the free press.
Alternatively passes can be renewed at any Travel Information Centre or through the postal system. Anyone wishing to renew their pass will need the following:
· existing customers will need to bring their current pass with them on the day;
· new customers will need to bring proof of their age and address and a passport size photograph.
Postal applications can be made to TIC Managers, PO Box 801, Exchange Street, Sheffield, S2 5YT and will take up to 5 working days.