Low-income students will continue to receive free rides on all SamTrans buses, after the SamTrans Board of Directors recently voted to make the SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass Program permanent.
The decision followed a pilot program launched, in part, with the aim of supporting financially struggling families and attracting new and more frequent riders. From January through June, about 198,400 trips were taken using the Youth Unlimited Pass. A subsequent survey of over 300 participating families benefiting from the program indicated that students mostly used their pass to go to school, while others used it for recreation, shopping or after school programs, according to SamTrans.
“With the Youth Unlimited Pass Program now becoming permanent, we are establishing a strong connection between the next generation of public transit riders and SamTrans,” said Peter Ratto, SamTrans Board Chair. “This program is a wonderful collaboration with the San Mateo County Office of Education.”
Nancy Magee, County Superintendent of Schools, added, “Not only does this action provide important transportation options for students, but also helps them develop confidence with public transportation as well as practice environmentally responsible habits.”
All County students classified as Socioeconomically Disadvantaged by the California Department of Education can receive the Youth Unlimited Pass. That includes students eligible for free or reduced price meal programs, as well as those experiencing homelessness, foster-youth, migrant students, or students whose parents did not graduate high school, according to SamTrans.
For more information on the Youth Unlimited Program, visit here.
Photo credit: Rafael Lima