Free transportation pilot program for low-income students

free transportation program

By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P] / Bay City News    
Public transit agency SamTrans, in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education, has launched a six-month pilot program to offer free rides to low-income students.

This was reported this week by SamTrans, which said the passes will be given to school districts to distribute to qualified students for free rides on all of the company's bus routes through June 2022. At that time, a decision will be made on whether to continue the program into the next school year.

All students classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged by the California Department of Education are qualified for the new SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass, according to the release issued.

This group includes students eligible for the free and reduced-price meal program, homeless students, foster youth, migrant students, or students whose parents did not graduate from high school.

Districts will administer an effectiveness survey to students and parents around March 2022. 

The program aims to reduce transportation costs for low-income families, attract new and more frequent riders, as well as to provide information on the potential operational impacts of providing free fares to a subset of young riders.

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