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OCTA Offers Free Bus Rides for all Orange County Youth

OCTA Offers Free Bus Rides for all Orange County Youth

Six-month promotional program aims to introduce convenience and safety of public transit to Orange County youth ages 6 to 18

PR Newswire

ORANGE, Calif., Sept. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Transportation Authority has launched a Youth Ride Free Pass, a six-month promotional program that allows more than a half-million youth in Orange County the opportunity to ride free wherever OC Bus travels.

The Youth Ride Free pass allows passengers ages 6 to 18 years to ride any OCTA fixed-route bus in Orange County for free during the six-month program, which runs through the end of February 2022. According to recent U.S. Census data, that makes more than 520,000 youth in that age group eligible to ride free.

"Allowing our youth in Orange County to ride the OC Bus for free will encourage a new generation of riders to discover the convenience and benefits of public transportation," said OCTA Chairman Andrew Do, also Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. "This program is good for our community, for our schools, and for our economy."

Also important, giving more youth access to shared rides reduces traffic congestion, taking cars off local roads and improving air quality in the process.

OCTA is working with school districts across Orange County to distribute the passes, giving parents the chance to request the pass for their children.

"Providing free public transportation to students who use this service to travel to and from school will serve as a vital resource for our families," said Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. "We know many of our students rely on OCTA each day to commute not only to our campuses, but also to their jobs and other activities. This program will help further meet a need of young people in our community."

Approvals were granted from Caltrans and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which will fund the pass through grants made possible by the California Climate Investments program, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The Youth Ride Free program is part of a phased campaign to encourage riders to return to OC Bus as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic recedes. The free pass runs through February, at which time data will be reviewed for potential next steps.

Information: www.OCBus.com/YouthRideFree.

About OCTA: The Orange County Transportation Authority is the county transportation planning commission, responsible for funding and implementing transit and capital projects for a balanced and sustainable transportation system that reflects the diverse travel needs of the county's 34 cities and 3.2 million residents. With the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes freeways and express lanes, bus and rail transit, rideshare, commuter rail, environmental programs and active transportation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697

Megan Abba (714) 560-5671

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/octa-offers-free-bus-rides-for-all-orange-county-youth-301377950.html

SOURCE Orange County Transportation Authority



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