A FREE bus travel pass for 16 to 18-year-olds is now up and running across Greater Manchester.

Named Our Pass, thousands of teenagers have already signed up and received a purple Our Pass card.

Young people, for a one-off £10 administration fee, get free bus travel across Greater Manchester. Our Pass card holders also benefit from half-price off peak one-day and weekend travel cards on Metrolink.

The pass is part of a a two-year pilot scheme which aims to get more people using bus transport. In Greater Manchester there has been a decline of 32.1 million annual passenger journeys by bus in the past ten years. In London bus journeys have almost doubled in the same time period.

Fifty organisations have jumped aboard the pilot project with offers that add up to an equivalent value of over £1 million, says mayor, Andy Burnham's office.

Our Pass sponsor JD Sports is providing card holders with a wallet and lanyard, with discounts also to be announced.

The Halle Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Palace Theatre, Opera House, Royal Exchange Theatre, Chetham’s School of Music and the Oldham Coliseum are all taking part.

Lancashire Cricket Club are offering 5,000 free tickets available for T20 matches next season

Curzon Ashton, FC United, Oldham Athletic and Radcliffe FC are offering free tickets to every game. Manchester Giants and Leigh Centurions are offering free tickets to home games.

Our Pass holders can also get one month’s free access to online personal trainer Les Mills’s fitness app, discounts at Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, and free taster sessions at Oldham Boxing Club and Challenge 4 Change’s activity centre.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Our Pass will change the lives of young people across Greater Manchester. Providing 16-18 year olds with free bus travel and half-price off peak travel on Metrolink was an important step, now by confirming this first wave of opportunities we are giving our young people a reason to get out and about.

“Our Pass is designed to show everyone growing up here we believe in them and these opportunities will give young people the chance to explore this amazing place we live in and to build for the future.

“I’d like to say special thanks to all the first wave of organisations providing opportunities and appeal to the rest of Greater Manchester’s fantastic sports and leisure, arts and culture and business communities to get involved and open their doors to young people.”

Pete Burt, Chair of GM Active and Managing Director at Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, said: “Our Pass presents a fantastic opportunity for young people to access not only free bus travel, but employment, education, cultural and a wide range of leisure activities which may have previously been out of reach.

“We have lined up a long list of great offers from providers across Great Manchester and look forward to many of our young people taking full advantage of these offers, having fun, getting involved and really getting active.”

Our Pass Lead Rose Marley added: “This is just the start. Our Pass is proving to be very popular and we know it will just grow and grow over the coming months. October has more offers in store including exclusive career opportunities and a few exciting surprises.”

Find out about the bus passes at ourpass.co.uk