Free public transit rides begin May 1 for San Diego youth 18 and under
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is launching a pilot program designed to make transportation easier for San Diegans 18 years of age and under. That includes the trolley, coaster and buses.
It's called the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass program and youth with these passes can start getting free rides on the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) starting May 1. The program will run through June 30, 2023.
High school senior Jonn Segovia told KPBS media partner 10 News that this program will allow him to use public transit to get to school, which wasn't before an option due to the cost.
“My family was never able to consider public transportation as a viable option to go to school," he said. "I'm a resident of City Heights and I go to Patrick Henry."
Segovia is a part of Mid-City CAN’s Youth Council. His organization and the Improving Transportation City Heights team has been advocating for youth opportunity passes for over 10 years, according to the Mid-City CAN's development director Chloe Petcharaporn.
She said they will be advocating to make this pilot program permanent.
In a written statement Petcharaporn told KPBS that a permanent program would support San Diego’s goal to create a "world-class transit system, where public transportation is good for our health, our planet, and creates economic opportunities for all."
To take part in the program, children 18 and under will have to sign up for a Youth PRONTO app account or a Youth PRONTO card. Information on PRONTO can be found at sdmts.com.
Officials said the program is being funded by $6.13 million from SANDAG, in a partnership with San Diego County.