Snohomish County, Washington – Community Transit invites people to share their thoughts on a proposed policy change that would allow youth 18 and under to ride public transit for free. If passed by the Community Transportation Council, all young people will be eligible for free rides on all community transportation services, including buses and DART paratransit in fall 2022.
The public is invited to comment on this proposed policy change until August 1. There are several ways to comment:
“Free use of public transit would provide more transportation options for young people and their parents juggling busy family schedules,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “Whether it’s commuting to after-school activities, driving to work, or meeting friends at the park, free access to public transit would have a positive impact on youth in Snohomish County.”
Community Transit will answer questions about this proposed policy change during a virtual community meeting via Zoom on July 13 at 12 p.m. https://bit.ly/CTVirtualMtgFYTP.
Last March, the Washington State Legislature passed the Move Ahead Washington transportation package. This legislation encourages all transit agencies in Washington State to adopt a policy of free admission for passengers 18 years of age or younger.
If approved, the new policy will be implemented in partnership with other regional transit agencies to create an easy experience for riders across the region. Youngsters would be encouraged to use an ORCA card when riding. No youth would be turned away or penalized if they did not have an ORCA card and no personal information would be collected. Regional ORCA partners are currently analyzing the best methods for distributing ORCA cards to young people.
More information is available at https://www.communitytransit.org/freeyouthtransitpass. Community Transit is responsible for providing bus and paratransit service, rideshares, and alternative transportation options in Snohomish County. The agency is building a network of Swift Bus rapid transit lines with the Swift Blue Line along Highway 99, the Swift Green Line between Canyon Park/Botell and Boeing/Paine Field, and the Swift Orange Line at destination of Mill Creek and Lynnwood in 2024.