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Young people tell Translink their public transport priorities

22 November 2017

Results of largest ‘Youth Insights’ research study carried out by Translink and NI Youth Forum reveale.

Translink and the NI Youth Forum have revealed the results of a major public transport survey of 1,000 young people in Northern Ireland during the inaugural Translink Youth Summit (#TYS17) which recently took place in Belfast. 

Hosted by Cool FM’s Pete Snodden, the Translink Youth Summit saw young people from across NI join together with transport chiefs to discuss their current and future transport expectations.

The ‘Youth Insights’ research study, targeting 14 – 24 year olds, examined the experiences of young people using public transport, identifying the travel priorities of a younger generation. 

With young people (16 – 24 yr olds) being Translink’s largest customer group – representing 39% of adult journeys – Translink is focused on youth engagement to help shape future public transport planning, policy-making and innovation. 

The research showed that 50% of young people use public transport five times a week or more. Independence was identified as a key benefit of public transport with young people stating that education, leisure and shopping were their top reasons for travel. 

A sign of the digital age we live in, the study confirmed the vast majority (80%) of young people access their travel information online. And with Translink increasingly using its digital platforms to provide passenger information to 127,000 social media followers and 1.2million monthly web visitors, the survey reaffirmed Translink’s business approach to continually invest in its online credentials.  

Encouragingly, 64% of young people said they are aware of Translink’s best value fares like the yLink discount travelcard for 16-23 year olds, ensuring they can make cost-effective travel choices. 

Speaking at the first ever Translink Youth Summit, Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: 
“We’ve had a massive response to our Youth Insights study and the inaugural Translink Youth Summit and I’d like to thank everyone who took part. What’s clear is that young people feel very strongly about public transport and are enthusiastic to work with us to help improve their overall customer experience, ensuring it’s as ‘youth-friendly’ as possible. 

“The big public transport issues identified by young people included ‘technology and innovation’, ‘communications, fares & promotions’, ‘engagement with staff’ and ‘rural & sustainable transport’ and our Youth Summit provided an ideal platform to further explore these important areas.

“We want young people in Northern Ireland to be proud of their local public transport services. By joining together we will be able to develop our network and services most effectively to support the local economy, connect people to greater opportunity, promote social inclusion and active lifestyles while also reducing traffic congestion and pollution. 

“With so many young people using the bus and train, it’s essential we take this collaborative approach and ensure ongoing dialogue to build a more sustainable society and make public transport your first choice for travel in Northern Ireland,” said Chris.  

Natalie Corbett, Participation Development Worker, Northern Ireland Youth Forum said: 
“The Youth Summit has been an exciting, innovative and extremely important youth-lead event. Young people from across the region have had the opportunity to engage with Translink staff and decision makers about transport services in Northern Ireland.

“Transport is a key service for young people which enables them to access education, health services, employment and leisure activities. It is vital that a space is created for young people’s views and opinions to be listened to; transport can’t be a barrier to young people’s participation. The first ever Translink Youth Summit has been an amazing success; it’s a reflection of Translink Youth Forum’s hard work and we’re now looking forward to future summits.”



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