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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Birthday Bus Pass offer?

It's free bus travel to all West of England and North Somerset residents, through a smartcard Birthday Bus Pass. This offer is the only one of its kind in the country and will run for 12 months from August 2023.

It's valid on all participating buses across the West of England region for the whole of your birthday calendar month.

Is it really free bus travel all month?

Yes, it really is free bus travel for a whole month!

The offer has been made possible by funding won by Metro Mayor Dan Norris and his West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, in partnership with North Somerset Council.

The win was one of the largest awards in the Country of Bus Service Improvement Programme funding and is being used to bring this exciting offer to all residents.

What area does the Birthday Bus Pass Cover?

Fantastic news! You can use your birthday bus pass on all eligible routes that start in the West of England. The full area covered can be seen in the map below:

What buses are included in the offer?

You can use your Birthday Bus Pass on 95% of all services in the West of England Area. This includes registered services on First Bus, Stagecoach, Bath Bus Co, Big Lemon, Abus, Transpora and CT Coaches.

Bristol Park & Ride services operated by Stagecoach are included.

There are a few services that can't take your Birthday Bus Pass. They include tour buses, school buses, community transport, special event buses or buses premium fares for part of their routes, such the A1 and A3 airport flyer services, the A4 (if you're starting or ending at Bristol Airport) and the Stagecoach Falcon. Bath Park & Ride services operated by First Bus are not included (Including the First Bus 31 service).

What can I use my pass for?

Anything you like! You can use your birthday bus pass in as many ways as possible!

Whether it is for commuting to work, visiting family and friends, going to appointments or exploring our wonderful region's many treasures - the obvious and the hidden!

In the West of England and across North Somerset, there are many fantastic attractions to choose from to visit. If you'd like some inspiration visiting the West of England area, click here - or for areas within North Somerset, click here and search 'North Somerset'.

You can plan your free journeys here.

How and when will I get my pass?

Once you've filled in your application, if everything's in order, your birthday pass will be made and sent to you in the post.

Depending on when you apply, you should receive the card sometime before your free birthday month starts. Apply now here.

How do I use my card to get free journeys?

You just scan your birthday bus pass on the bus's ticket machine reader. As always, if you have problems, the driver will help you.

When you're booking a WESTlink bus, quote the free travel code on back of card when you book online, on the app or by phone.

When can I apply?

Don't delay! Apply now and you'll receive your pass in the post. Apply now here.

To enjoy free travel for the whole of your birthday month, apply at least 7 days before the first day of your birthday month.

But you can still apply after that - right up to the 15th, and still get a pass for the rest of that month.

What do I need to apply?

To create your birthday bus pass, you'll need:

If you have any problems during your application or can't meet the criteria above, just call 0300 300 0032 and someone will help you.

What alternative evidence do I submit if I am aged 18 or under?

If you need to submit alternative evidence as part of your application, you can do this through obtaining a letter from an authorised professional. A list of suitable professions can be found here.

How do I apply on behalf of my child?

Simply, follow the online application steps and submit the required information on behalf of your child. You may use your email address.

If you are unable to provide any recognised identity documents for your child, please follow the alternative evidence guidance.

What if I am unable to apply online?

Because it's a smartcard system, the best way to process the information you send is through online applications (and this is the best use of public money, of course). Here are some alternatives if you don't have a smart phone or computer:

Download our paper application form here.

How far in advance can I apply?

You can apply now, right up 'til halfway through your free travel birthday month (before the 15th of the month).

Of course, to get the most from your month of free birthday bus travel, apply for your birthday pass early!

Make sure you give yourself at least a week and ideally longer, so you can start travelling all across the region from the very first day of your birthday month.

How long will the scheme run?

The Birthday Bus Pass, giving residents free travel across the region, is the only one of its kind in the country and will run for a 12-month period from the 1st August 2023.

So don't delay! Make sure you and everyone you know gets a Birthday Bus Pass!

Lost a card?

If you lose your card, call 0300 300 0032 or email birthdaybus@talktosam.co.uk and a new card will be sent out as quickly as possible, at no cost before 15th of the month.

Of course, without a pass, you lose free travel days, so keep it safe!

Remember, card replacements are unable to be processed after the 15th day of your free birthday month.