FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 14, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697
Megan Abba (714) 560-5671
OCTA to Offer Free Rides to All OC Youth
The six-month promotional program, also publicly funded this week, begins in September
The Youth Ride Free pass, which also received state funding approvals this week, will allow passengers aged 18 and under to ride any OCTA fixed-route bus for free in County of Orange during the six-month program, which is due to start in September.
Initially aimed at young people up to the age of 13, OCTA board members asked staff to work to extend the pass to reach school-aged teenagers as well.
“Allowing our Orange County youth to ride the OC bus for free will encourage a new generation of riders to discover how convenient and affordable the bus system is,” said OCTA President Andrew Do, also. the first county district supervisor. “Expanding the free pass to 14-18 year olds means we are reaching high school students as well, helping them access education and employment when they enter the workforce. “
The approvals were granted this week by Caltrans and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which will fund the pass through California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that spends billions of dollars in cap-and-trade. reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening the economy. , and improve public health and the environment, especially in disadvantaged communities.
The pass program is expected to begin in September and run until the end of February 2022. At this point, ridership and costs will be assessed for potential next steps.
The new Youth Ride Free pass will build on the recent success of OCTA’s Community College Pass program, which allows thousands of students enrolled in several county community colleges to travel unlimited on OC Bus across the county. .
Based on the success of the Student Pass program at Santa Ana College and the School of Continuing Education, OCTA has expanded the program to Santiago Canyon College in Orange, Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Fullerton College, at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo and at Cypress College. So far, over 36,000 students have used the Community College Pass at least once.
The planned Youth Ride Free pass is part of a progressive campaign to encourage passengers to return to OC Bus as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to recede.
The pass, which will be available on request from parents, will be a physical pass with a magnetic strip. OCTA will work to distribute the pass in partnership with local K-12 schools, as well as at the OCTA store and online.
More details will be announced ahead of the September launch. For more information visit www.OCBus.com.
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About OCTA: The Orange County Transportation Authority is the county’s transportation planning commission, responsible for funding and implementing transit and capital projects for a balanced and sustainable transportation system. which reflects the diverse travel needs of the 34 cities and 3.2 million people of the county. Along with the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes highways and expressways, bus and rail transportation, carpooling, commuter rail, environmental programs, and active transportation.
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