Anyone resident in the West Midlands who has just gained a new job could benefit from free bus, tram and rail travel to work as part of a new scheme. Workwise has seen Transport for West Midlands team up with local transport operators to offer two four-week tickets free, then a third four-week ticket at a 50% discount from the standard price on selected bus, tram and nnetwork travel passes.
This new scheme is aimed at giving newly employed people a helping hand into work and is available to anyone paying an adult fare who lives or works in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall or Wolverhampton and who has started a new job after being unemployed. Its also available to apprentices and those who are increasing their weekly hours to 16 or more in their current job.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Sadly we know thousands of people have lost their jobs or been put on furlough because of the pandemic, so it’s never been more important to help residents into work. There are lots of jobs available now, in sectors such as construction, health and care, and digital, but we know that the cost of travel to work is a major barrier to employment because most people don’t get paid for up to a month after starting their new job. That’s why we are offering eight weeks’ worth of free bus, tram and rail travel for people moving into work, plus a half-price ticket for four more weeks – and I would ask all employers to make sure their new staff are aware of this offer.”
Previously Workwise offered half-price travel for three months on selected West Midlands travel passes and in this guise supported nearly 4,900 people over four years. In a recent TfWM survey, almost half of those who responded said they wouldn’t have been able to take up their new job without help with their travel costs.
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council and WMCA Portfolio holder for transport, said: ““It’s critical that local people are able to take up the job opportunities they are offered. The Workwise scheme is a great example of how TfWM and local transport operators are working together to help residents, especially those on benefits, move into work. In addition, supporting more people to use public transport is part of our wider goal to help the region achieve net zero by 2041.”
- More details of Workwise can be found at https://www.tfwm.org.uk/swift-and-tickets/discounts-and-free-travel-passes/discounts-for-jobseekers/