MARIN COUNTY, Calif. — Two communities here are providing a one-year school bus subsidy for Reed Union School District students to see if making it cheaper to ride the bus will substantially increase ridership and decrease traffic, the Marin Independent Journal reports.

The town of Tiburon and the city of Belvedere are subsidizing bus passes for the 2015-16 school year at half-price — $430 for the school year — for use on 20 routes to and from the district’s three schools, according to the newspaper.

The councils tried to implement the program last year but did not get the minimum number of new sign-ups needed, according to the newspaper. This year, in addition to offering a discount on the bus passes, the councils surveyed parents to identify hurdles to bus ridership.

Peggy Curran, Tiburon town manager, told Marin Independent Journal that the survey showed that factors important to parents include the length of time spent on the bus, stop locations, cost, and ages of the students on the bus together. In response to the survey findings, the bus system has been overhauled to provide more routes, shorter routes and age-specific buses, Curran added.

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