SamTrans launches free ride pilot program in San Mateo
SamTrans has announced it’s created bus passes that would eliminate student fare fees for the next six months. The new SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass will be given to school districts to distribute to qualifying students.
The main goal of the pilot program is to reduce transportation costs for low-income families. However, the program could also attract new and more frequent riders and provide insight into the potential impact of free rides for a share of youth.
All students that are classified as socio-economically disadvantaged by the California Department of Education are qualified for the new SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass. This includes students eligible for the free and reduced-price meal program, students experiencing homelessness, foster youth, migrant students, or students whose parents did not graduate from high school.
Districts will also administer an effectiveness survey to students and parents in March of next year. Once the survey is completed, a decision will be made about extending the pilot program into the next school year.