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Transportation and Mobility

Thousands Of LA Community College Students Can Now Ride Metro For Free

A silver MetroBus carrying a bicycle in its front bike rack and displaying a digital destination sign in orange letters saying 'North Hollywood Stations' is parked beside a yellow curb at an outdoor bus terminal. Several passengers are in the background walking or standing beneath digital destination signs.
LACCD students will have free access to Metro trains and buses throughout 2022.
(Steve Hymon
Courtesy Metro Los Angeles)
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Students at Los Angeles Community College District campuses are now eligible for free transit on L.A. Metro’s buses and trains.

The partnership between the district and L.A. County’s transit agency will grant students unlimited access to Metro’s system — not just for trips to class, but anywhere, anytime. The program is currently slated to run through Dec. 31, 2022.

According to LACCD surveys, 68% of its students come from low-income backgrounds and about half live below the poverty line. A majority of respondents reported housing and food insecurity.

LACCD Board President Steve Veres said transportation should not be a barrier to students’ success.

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“We have to be able to understand that some things should be just a basic right,” he said at a media briefing Tuesday morning. “Some things should be absolutely accessible; you shouldn't have to think and you shouldn't have to make choices like: ‘Can I get to where I need to be? Can I get to my job? Can I get to my class?’”

Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins called the initiative a key strategy to “cultivate” the next generation of transit riders.

“Even better, we know that removing the cost of transportation will only help our students balance their financial obligations,” Wiggins said Tuesday. “It's one less bill to pay to keep them learning and growing in their education.”

How To Get Your Pass

To get their free transit passes, students can either pick up a GoPass TAP card on campus or get a digital version on their smartphone with a code provided by their school.

About 200,000 students enroll in LACCD each year at its nine campuses, which include Los Angeles City College, Harbor College, Pierce College, Mission College and L.A. Trade-Tech College.

The program launches today, but not all students at all campuses can access free transit immediately. LACCD currently has 25,000 cards to give out and will then "expand to include more students as the program continues to grow,” according to Wiggins.

LAUSD Students Also Get Free Rides

The community college students join hundreds of thousands of K-12 students from LAUSD and other participating school districts who have entered a cost-sharing deal with L.A. Metro as part of its fareless transit pilot program.

The agency’s goal is to study the feasibility of a 100% free system. That experiment is starting with students and the plan is to later expand it to low-income residents, who make up the majority of Metro’s ridership.

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