The ridership program was set to expire on Sept. 30. However, thanks to additional funding from program partner City of Sacramento, RydeFreeRT has been extended through September 2021.
RydeFreeRT waives student and youth fares on bus, light rail, and SmaRT Ride microtransit service across SacRT’s service area, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, and parts of Sacramento County. Approximately 220,000 students in grades pre-K through 12, home-schooled students, and foster and homeless youth are all eligible.
Since the program began last October, SacRT experienced a 127% increase in student ridership pre-COVID-19. Even during the cities’ “shelter-in-place” order, young people continue to rely on SacRT to meet their transportation needs.
“We are excited to continue to offer access to transit all day, every day for all Sacramento area youth that live in or attend school in our service area," said Henry Li, SacRT GM and CEO. "We recognized the essential need for fare-free transit within the first few months the program launched, and we will continue to grow our future transit riders with the youth in the region."
Due to distribution challenges related to COVID-19, students and youth will not need a RydeFreeRT sticker or card to ride transit, they can simply show a student ID or a RydeFreeRT card. For students and youth who need a replacement card or who do not have a student ID or RydeFreeRT card, they can visit SacRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center. Once schools reopen, stickers and cards will also be available at most school locations.
Originally posted on Metro Magazine