Long Beach Transit could give K-12 and community college students free rides in pilot program

The Long Beach Transit system is hoping to offer students at participating schools free rides during an 18-month pilot program.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Long Beach Transit bus system could soon be a part of the Go Pass program which would allow students free bus rides.

The Go Pass program already exists and other school districts and schools currently participate.

"It's actually administered through L.A. Metro and so Long Beach Transit, our board of directors on Nov. 2, agreed to formally participate in the Go Pass program," said Mike Gold, executive director and vice president of customer relations and communication for Long Beach Transit.

Students who are in kindergarten through 12th grade, and community colleges that the Long Beach Transit serves, will have to agree to participate.

The 18-month pilot program would run until June of 2023.

Long Beach transit officials say they're hoping things get started in 60 to 90 days.

"Students can't just get on the bus and show an ID and ride. They do need to get an official tap card which the school will provide them once we go through the process and they get all the approvals," said Gold.

Long Beach City College is currently in discussion with Long Beach Transit about their pilot program.

Long Beach City College has their own transportation program called the Strong Beach bus pass program that started two years ago.

It allows low-income students to get a free bus pass.

"We found that transportation is a barrier to access whether it's the parking pass fees or even having a vehicle, we want to make sure we can help students succeed," said Uduak-Joe Ntuk, president of board of trustees at Long Beach City College.

Long Beach Transit has the go ahead to enter agreements with schools who want to participate.

"What studies show is that if students can get to school, then they go to school and they do well. Transportation is one of the barriers, so this is a way to get them to school," said Gold.

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