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All over Leeds and West Yorkshire, older people are hopping on to the bus, brandishing their Senior Pass. That little plastic rectangle is their ticket to freedom, connecting them to friends, family and social groups. We meet four  individuals, each with a unique reason for relying on the bus. 




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When his wife died a few years ago, Keith realised he had to do something. As a widower, it’s very easy to find yourself stuck at home, seeing nobody, doing nothing. But that wasn’t Keith’s way. He’s a social animal. So he picked up his Senior Pass and hopped on the bus. A few years on, Keith is barely ever at home. Most days he’s at Middleton Elderly Aid, filling up on bacon sandwiches and jam roly-poly. Without his bus pass, Keith’s life would look very different.
Keith’s story is just one of many. Older people rely on free bus travel to get out and about all over the place. The Cost of Living means everything is more expensive – but not travelling on the bus! There aren’t many perks about getting older. But one thing everyone looks forward to is reaching the age of the buss pass. Free off-peak travel, on buses all over Leeds and West Yorkshire. You can get anywhere on the bus. Pop into the city centre to go shopping or to the theatre; travel to the outskirts for a stroll in nature; or travel down the road to meet friends at your local social club. Whatever you do, the Senior Pass is your way to get around the city.
There are more bus stories: Tony is part of a walking group and uses the bus to get all over the place in search of nature. He’s been a train-lover all his life and is now using the bus to explore whole areas of Leeds he’s never been to. Jennifer has never driven and always relied on buses to get around. She volunteers in a local café and uses the bus to see family. Jennifer is approaching the age when she can get her Senior Pass – and she can’t wait. Susan is a more nervous passenger. Since Covid, she’s found getting the bus hard. However, with help and support from her local older people’s group, Susan is on a journey to regaining her confidence.
One of the things that has helped Susan is going to a digital skills group at Burmantofts Senior Friends. So much is online now and it’s handy to have a bit of help navigating it all. You can even renew your Senior Pass online. Rest assured, you can still go into Leeds Bus Station and do it face-to-face too. Susan decided to renew her in person last year; but next time she’ll try it on her iPad. It’s quicker and easier – and you don’t have to queue. Susan and her friends have also learned how to plan their journeys and check timetables; it can all be done on the WY Metro website. And if you’re not yet online, it’s easy to ring Metroline to get all the information.
Over the next few pages, we meet Keith, Susan, Jennifer and Tony – and find out a bit more about their lives. All of them use the bus for different reasons, but all of them use the bus to connect. To connect with nature, to connect with family, friends and social groups. It’s that connection that is key to older people keeping healthy and happy. Find your connection – and your freedom – with the Senior Pass.
More information:
Plan your journey, check bus timetables, work out when your next bus is due, or renew your Senior Pass at Call Metroline for more information: 0113 2457676



TONY, 79

The walking group has been running for about ten years. It was set by some very keen walkers, who now lead the walks. I’ve been part of it for about eighteen months. We meet at 10.30. We use buses and trains. We travel to places around half an hour’s drive away: Boston Spa, Barwick, Garforth. Aberford is a popular destination on the bus. One of the more interesting walks is back from Aberford on what used to be called “the Fly Line”, the old mineral railway. It runs through the old Gascoigne estate. It’s a lovely area – 

“I’ll always get the bus. I’ll look up the timetables on my laptop"

Parlington Woods. It’s beautiful – a combination of rural parkland, woodland and agriculture. There’s some really lovely landscape around Leeds, which is one of the reasons I joined the walking group; to explore the area and get to know it. You go to areas you wouldn’t normally go on your own. It helps to have someone who knows the lie of the land, the geography of the place. I didn’t know my way around the area when I first came. Everyone is very welcoming.
We lived in Warrington most of our working lives. Both our sons, for some fortuitous reason, ended up with Yorkshire girls. They ended up settling 


Tony uses the bus to get all over Leeds with a walking group.

in the Leeds area. In 2005 we were presented with a lovely granddaughter. After we retired, we had no real permanent connection to Warrington so we took the decision to up-sticks and move to the other side of the Pennines. That was in 2013. Moving was quite an upheaval. We managed to find a place in Temple Newsam, which is a nice little neck of the woods. Having a bungalow has been a godsend because my wife’s health hasn’t been as robust as it might be.
I’ve been a lifelong train enthusiast. Our generation were all trainspotters in their youth! Good innocent fun. Trams too. I have very fond memories of the Liverpool trams. My wife’s disability has impaired our ability to get out on the buses. But we used to use them a lot – I still do, of course. Reliability and dependability is important. I’ll look up the timetables on my laptop at home. I don’t often drive into Leeds City Centre. I’ll always get the bus.
The walking group is run by Cross Gates Good Neighbours Scheme, call them on 0113 2606565


"I get a free bus pass, which I’m really looking forward to!"


Jennifer is looking forward to getting her free bus pass at 66.



I was born in Leeds, I’ve lived most of my life in the Chapeltown area. Growing up, we’d play in the back streets for hours on end. It was very different to today – we made do. And the area has really developed. Now, I have one daughter and two lovely grandchildren. I travel on the buses to go to town or to my daughter in Rothwell. I enjoy travelling on the buses because you see people on them. When I worked for a catering company, I’d see regular people every morning. You do hear some stories on the bus! It’s nice. I love travelling on the bus. When I go to Rothwell, I can pay £4.50 for a day pass and I can travel on the First bus and the Arriva bus – whereas before you couldn’t use it on Arriva buses. And you can pay £2 and travel as many bus stops as you want. This is a really good thing! A few of us are going to Rothwell on the bus to have a Chinese meal.
I started here at Fusion cafélast month. I’m really enjoying it here, loving it. It gets me out of the house and I enjoy meeting the people that come here. The older ladies who come here are a jolly lot! They are all from the West Indies. I was born here in England but my parents came from St Kitt’s. I know most of the ladies, just from growing up and living in Chapeltown.
I’m coming up to retirement – when I’m 66. I’m looking forward to retirement because it’ll give me more time to spend with my grandchildren. I get a free bus pass, which I’m really looking forward to! So I don’t have to spend any more money on bus fares. I’m really pleased. I prefer to go 

down to the bus station and get my pass sorted out there. They’re a nice bunch of people there. After I retire, I hope to get to 100. With God’s grace and mercy, I’ll get there! 

The Fusion Café is run by Black Health Initiative – contact them on 0113 3070300




I was brought up in Cornwall in the 1950s. I’m one of ten children: eight girls and two boys. We used buses from a very early age. My mum used to take all us kids out to go to or Lewes and Liskeard. We had to give up our seats to let older people sit down. Now I’m the older one! I came to Leeds twenty years ago. I lived in Surrey but my marriage broke up. I had friends in Wakefield so I came up north. I got a job in Leeds and lived in Ferrybridge; to get to the centre there was two buses. I don’t drive, I never have. My husband drove but after we split in 1997, I’ve always got around on the bus.

When Covid hit I was on my own for 17 weeks. I got the number for Burmantofts Community Friends and they phoned me every 

fortnight Since lockdown, I’m happier to go on the bus with other people. Trying to get back on the bus on my own has been a bit difficult. Before Covid I had been in hospital for three-and-a-half months, then we had the pandemic and I lost my confidence. But by coming to BCF I’m meeting people and they help. I’m on a journey. Eventually I think I’ll be alright on my own. They always help if I have a problem. I come to a digital skills group on a Monday. I had a phobia about computers but since coming to the group and using an iPad I’ve found it easier. We’ve done our life story in pictures and words on a Power Point. Talking about our childhood and showing photos. I have an app on my phone for the NHS so I can get an appointment. We’ve looked at the bus wesbites and apps too.I went to the bus station last year because my bus pass ran out. I was able to walk into the bus station, get the pass sorted and walk out again. They were so helpful. And I had it delivered in about 4 days. I think next time, I’ll renew my pass online.

“I come to a digital skills group... I’m happier on the bus"


Susan gets support to use apps and websites - including


Contact Burmantofts Community Friends to find out more about all the support they offer on 0113 2489191




I was born about half a mile from the de Havilland aircraft factory in Hertfordshire. It was during the war. My dad built Mosquitoes. The factory was a target for the V2 rockets and one landed in a field near us. My dad said to my mother, “Take the baby up to Hartlepool, I’ll see you at the end of the war!” I moved down to Leeds a long time ago for a change of scene and met my wife. She was twelve years older than me. A few years ago she got vascular problems. I was her carer from the day I retired until she had to go into a nursing home. She died a year later.

Somebody suggested I go to Middleton Elderly Action, just to get out of the house. Every Wednesday there’s something special on – a 
singer, a film, that kind of thing. It was either be stuck in the house or getting out. We go away twice a year – last summer we  went to Lowestoft. I get to Middleton on the bus – the number 13. I walk to the end of my street and it’s a hundred yards from there. I come up four times a week for a bacon butty and to see the show. I get a meal or a cooked breakfast – and they don’t charge a lot. I come for the social life. 

The best thing about the buses are the drivers – they are very,  very friendly. I gave my car up about six years ago. I hated driving – always have done. I’ll be perfectly honest, the more I drove, the more I wanted to stop. I get all round the city on the bus. I’ve had my bus pass for 21 years. Into town, up to Middleton, up to the shops. The bus is a good replacement for the car. Every month on a Tuesday I get the bus into town to meet up for a “quiet drink” at the Wetherspoon’s with my 

“The best thing about the buses are the drivers – they are very, very friendly

ex-work colleagues from Royal Mail sorting office – it started with three of us and now it’s about twenty of us. It’s about the camaraderie. I’d rather go out and socialise.

Contact Middleton Elderly Action on 0113 2721050

Interested in receiving a pass? Find out more at


Keith goes all over Leeds using his bus pass.

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