Scottish parents, stakeholders pan biometric enrollment process for free bus travel
Parents and transport industry experts in Scotland have been complaining about the ‘unnecessary’ length of the biometrics enrollment process necessary to take advantage of the new free bus travel scheme for individuals under 22 years old.
According to The Times, to take advantage of the scheme, biometric face scans are necessary, together with images of passports and birth certificates (the latter is not required for individuals aged 16 to 21.)
“There was a lot of information that was required which I guess most people won’t appreciate when they go about applying for it online and think that it’ll be a smooth transaction,” Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance told The Times.
Almost a million people will reportedly be able to enroll in the young persons’ free bus travel scheme when it launches on January 31.
The scheme is being launched to help the Scottish Government meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2045, but according to author and transport commentator Christian Wolmar, the process length and requirements, particularly the biometric face scans, may prevent some people from enrolling.
“This sort of thing may put off potential users from traveling by bus for life and clearly should be simplified with one proof of age, rather than so many,” Wolmar told The Times. “It seems that people are being treated as potential criminals rather than bus passengers.”
The new scheme comes almost a year after the Scottish Parliament nominated Dr. Brian Plastow as the country’s first Biometrics Commissioner in March 2021.
At the time of writing, the Commissioner has not yet commented on biometric face scans being necessary to enroll in Scotland’s young persons’ free bus travel scheme.