A year ago April, LA Metro approved $20 million to extend it’s popular GoPass fare-free pilot program for K-12 and community college students for the next fiscal year ending June 30, 2024.
GoPass has offered an opportunity for unlimited free transit rides for students in all Los Angeles County K-12 schools and community colleges anywhere, anytime.
Now, it appears Metro staff are going to recommend that GoPass become a permanent and expanding part of LA Metro’s operations. We must speak up to support that commitment!
Today Metro’s GoPass program provides a free transit pass to all students in schools and colleges that have chosen to participate and have negotiated an agreement with Metro. To date GoPass has 343,980 participating students from 1573 schools in 115 districts.
The GoPass can be used by any student on any Metro bus or rail line and on the buses of a number of other operators including Metro bus and rail, AVTA, City of Commerce Transit, Culver CityBus, Foothill Transit, Glendale Beeline, GTrans, LADOT DASH, LA County Shuttles, Long Beach Transit, Lynwood Trolley, Montebello Bus, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Torrance Transit.
Students can use these passes not just for school, but to any other destination they want or need to travel to in our county. It’s a truly unlimited transit pass program – anywhere, anytime.
In November, 2023, Metro’s GoPass pilot program saw a 28 percent year-over-year increase over November 2022. Student GoPass boardings measured 1,772,606 riders.
GoPass reduces students’ overall educational costs and improves academic performance, giving them a reliable means of transportation for school, jobs, medical appointments and recreation.
Families of K-12 students who participate in the GoPass Program typically see a yearly savings of $288 per student and community college students save $516 per year.
Students who receive a free transit pass have up to 27 percent higher graduation rates, which leads to expanded academic and employment opportunities.
For many students who pursue higher education while also juggling job responsibilities, GoPass can have far-reaching implications helping to ensure they can fulfill academic or career goals.
GoPass also helps Metro improve social equity, increase transit ridership, create environmental benefits that improve public health by improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases.
Observations from Key Leaders
“Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “GoPass is central to our strategy to build transit ridership by introducing young people to the benefits of using transit long before they drive.”
“The costs of transportation should never stand between our students and opportunity,” said Karen Bass, L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member.
- In November, 2023, Metro had 24,218,275 boardings on its bus and rail services, which is 82 percent of its pre-pandemic level.
- Metro bus ridership in November 2023 saw a 13 percent year-over-year increase over November 2022. Metro bus ridership is now at 88 percent of its pre-pandemic level.