Youth can ride for free on Santa Rosa CityBus lines starting next week as part of a pilot program by the transit agency.
On Thursday, the agency will launch its new Unlimited Rides (UR Free) program for the roughly 30,000 youth between transitional kindergarten and 12th grade who live in Santa Rosa.
The free fares are meant to remove a financial barrier for youth going to school, work or an enriching extracurricular activity, according to CityBus. Youth in high school can show a student ID or special pass when boarding, but an ID is not required for younger residents.
The agency will also be rolling out a second UR Free program for local employers and community organizations as well as affordable housing development groups. Anyone interested can email transit planner Yuri Koslen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both programs were funded by a Bay Area Air Quality Management District grant, with the free youth fares covered for 18 months under the pilot program and the other program running for three years.
The city’s Mayor Chris Rogers said:
“Expanding free transit to youth further reduces greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion while supporting return to school efforts and ultimately increasing the profile of public transportation in Santa Rosa.”
More information about the free fare programs can be found at srcity.org/Fares.