Earlier this month, an initiative was launched that would allow TK-12th-grade students to ride Sacramento Regional Transit for free. The program is set to run for one year through September 30 of next year.
The initiative is a part of a regional movement to combat absenteeism as it pertains to a students’ educational future. Sacramento RT is going to receive funds from the City and more specifically, Measure U, in order to help fund the program and improve accessibility.
Even though it has only been in place for about a month, the program has had a large impact on the students who use it.
Local high school student, Garrett Loiselle commented on the initiative.
“I think it’s really important because it saves my family money every month while allowing more people to use public transportation even if they previously couldn’t because of the costs” explained Garrett.
In addition to benefiting lower-income students and their families, The program may also be a start to breaking the stigma surrounding public transportation. As local initiatives work on making transportation more environmentally sustainable, a common issue is that young people would rather drive private vehicles than take public transportation because many believe that method of transportation is a symbol of socioeconomic status and fear judgment from their peers.
As this program expands citizens and lawmakers will see if the program has the anticipated economic and environmental impacts.