Community Transit seeks public feedback on free youth fare proposal

Community Transit seeks public feedback on free youth fare proposal

Jul 1, 2022

Policy change would eliminate fares for youth 18 & under

Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit is inviting people to give feedback on a proposed policy change that would allow youth 18 years and younger to ride public transit free of charge. If adopted by the Community Transit board, all youth will be eligible for free rides on all Community Transit services including buses and DART paratransit in the fall of 2022.

The public is invited to comment on this proposed policy change through August 1. There are several ways to comment:

“Riding public transit for free would offer more transportation options for young people and their parents who are juggling busy family schedules,” said Community Transit CEO Ric Ilgenfritz. “Whether it’s getting to after-school activities, getting a ride to a job, or meeting up with 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 at a virtual community meeting via Zoom on July 13 at 12 p.m. To join, go to https://bit.ly/CTVirtualMtgFYTP.

Last March, the Washington State Legislature passed the Move Ahead Washington transportation package. This legislation incentivizes all Washington State transit agencies to adopt a free fare policy for riders 18 years of age or younger.

If approved, the new policy would be implemented in partnership with other regional transit agencies to create an easy experience for riders across the region. Youth would be encouraged to use an ORCA card when riding. No youth would be turned away or penalized if they do not have an ORCA card, and no personal information would be collected. Regional ORCA partners are currently analyzing the best methods to distribute ORCA cards to youth. 

More information is available at https://www.communitytransit.org/freeyouthtransitpass.