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Last updated:
14 February 2017

3in1 Card (scheme ended 31 December 2016)

The 3in1 Card scheme ended on 31 December 2016.

1 Why the scheme has ended

As of 31 December 2016, we have discontinued the 3in1 Card scheme. This is as a result of changes to national legislation and as part of our savings plan to fill a £44.2m funding shortfall.

This was a very difficult decision to make, but we are experiencing one of the most financially challenging times local government has ever known.

The 3in1 card scheme cost the County Council £1.2m a year. We had to look at the cost of running the scheme against the number of people who used it (5% of the eligible population) and the ever growing pressures on other areas of our work - especially across our children’s and adults’ services.

You can find out more information about the decision by reading the press release.

We have taken steps to mitigate the loss of the 3in1 card for young people. Discussions have been held with bus operators, schools and colleges to consider future travel concessions in the absence of the scheme. You can find out what other travel concessions are available on the next page as well as answers to other questions you might have.

2 What next?

What bus fare discounts are now available?

As of January 2017 there is no 3in1 Card discount available on bus fares.

This does not mean that school pupils (under 16s) and students (16-19s) will have to pay adult fares because bus operators are now offering their own discounts. The main offers are summarised below:

  • Metrobus is introducing a new Student discount of 25% off adult Metrovoyagers, Crawley Metroriders and Horsham Metroriders when using a special key smartcard, which is free to obtain when presenting proof of student status at Crawley Travel Shop. It has a child discount on area tickets and 50% off adult fares on singles and returns. For more information visit the Metrobus website or phone 01293 449191.
  • Stagecoach has introduced new discounted Termrider and Unirider tickets for school and college students. It also has a child discount of 33% off adult fares and offers a weekly student rate Megarider Gold. For more information visit the Stagecoach website or phone 0345 121 0190.
  • Compass Travel has introduced a new student discount of 25% off adult fares. They have a child discount of 50% off adult fares. For more information visit the Compass website or phone 01903 690025.
  • Sussex Coaches has student discounts available on most services. The discount is not available on N8 or 68 services. For more information visit the Sussex Coaches website or phone 01403 741976.
  • Brighton & Hove offers 50% off adult fares to children and students up to 18 with a free Bus ID card. For more information visit the Brighton & Hove website or phone 01273 886200.
  • Emsworth and District offers a child discount of 50% off adult fares. For more information see Emsworth and District website or phone 01243 378337.

Is there additional help for low income students?

If you are a student and your family is assessed as being on a low income, you can also apply for help with travel costs from the 16-19 Bursary Fund. Ask at your school or college for further information.

What help is available for low income pupils aged up to 16?

School transport assistance is normally provided if your family is assessed as being on a low income and you attend one of the three closest schools to your home address - as long as it is over two miles by the shortest walking distance, but under six miles. If your school is over six miles from your home address, but you are attending for reasons of faith, you may still be eligible for help.

Find further information on school transport help for low income families.

Following the end of the 3in1 Card scheme, help may also be available if your family is assessed as being on a low income and you have chosen to attend your second nearest secondary school and it is more than six miles away from your home address. If you think this applies to you, please email

I have paid for a card that expires after 31 December 2016 - will I get a refund?

If you hold a 3in1 Card with an expiry date of January 2017 or later, and you paid the 3in1 application fee, you will receive a letter shortly with details of the partial refund you are entitled to as a result of the scheme ending. This will be calculated on a proportional basis depending on the length of time left on the card. You will be asked to return a confirmation form and a cheque payment will be issued shortly after.

If you have changed address recently or have not received a letter by the end of January 2017 and think you are entitled to a refund, please let us know by emailing us at or phoning 01243 777330.

Will the 3in1 Card retail and leisure discounts still be available now that the scheme has ended?

Discounts are no longer available as part of the 3in1 Card scheme. Please contact the individual retailer or business to find out what other offers may be available.

Can I use my 3in1 Card as proof of age even though the scheme has ended?

Yes. You can continue to use your 3in1 CitizenCard as proof of age wherever it is accepted and to prove your age on buses to claim the standard child fare. For more information visit the CitizenCard website.

How can I plan my bus journey?

You can plan a bus journey to anywhere in West Sussex and beyond by visiting the Traveline website.


3 Contact us

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