SamTrans reducing service due to massive ridership decreases

Free SamTrans passes now available to low-income students

in Community

Low-income students can now ride SamTrans buses for free.

The SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass is now available for the next six months as part of a pilot program designed in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education, according to the transit agency. The program, announced last month, provides free SamTrans service to low-income students.

About 28,000 passes were requested and 20,000 have been distributed to schools, with the remainder to be delivered in the near future, SamTrans said Friday. For more information, contact your school administration for more details or visit here.

To qualify, students must be classified as Socioeconomically Disadvantaged (SED) by the California Department of Education. “SED students include students that are eligible for the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program, students experiencing homelessness, foster-youth, migrant students, or students whose parents did not graduate high school,” according to SamTrans.

SamTrans will survey program participants in March to gauge the pilot’s effectiveness. The goal of the program is to reduce transportation costs for low-income families, attract new and more frequent riders and to test the potentional operation impacts of providing free fares to a subset of youth riders, according to SamTrans.

“Everyone deserves a safe and convenient ride to school,” SamTrans Board Member Charles Stone said. “We at SamTrans are proud to make sure that’s a reality for every child, and we look forward to serving these riders for years to come.”

Click here for school routes.