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Metro reaches goal of 10 million rides under GoPass pilot program BY CITY NEWS SERVICE

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday it has reached its 2023 ridership goal for the GoPass pilot program four months ahead of schedule, achieving 10 million additional rides as of March 7.

The GoPass pilot program, which began in August 2021, provides unlimited free transit rides to K-12 and community college students in participating districts on Metro and 13 other county transit agencies.

“The success of GoPass shows the need for public transit for K-12 and community college students, and that if we make transit affordable and accessible for them, they will use it,” Ara Najarian, Glendale City Council member and Metro board chair, said in a statement.

GoPasses are available to students at 16 county community colleges and 90 K-12 districts, charter networks and private schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest user of the program.

“GoPass is an important part of Metro’s strategy to provide critical support for students and their families while building back ridership post- pandemic,” Stephanie Wiggins, Metro CEO, said in a statement. “By offering free rides to K-12 and community college students and teaching them how to access the transit system through their schools, we’re building up their familiarity and comfort with public transportation, and creating lifetime transit users in the process.”

According to LASUD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, in the last 16 months, more than 100,000 LASUD students, mostly from low-income families, used public transportation, with more than 7 million rides to go to school or access museums, get to an internship and extra-curricular opportunities.

Metro reported students from Santa Monica College were heavy users of the GoPass program as well as students in Long Beach.

“One important way to ensure equity for our students and their families is to help provide transportation for traveling to and from school,” Jill Baker, superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District, said in a statement.

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