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Alameda County Student Transit Pass Pilot Program

Alameda CTC is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of a three-year pilot Affordable Student Transit Pass Program (Affordable STPP) in Alameda County. This pilot program is identified in the voter-approved 2014 Transportation Expenditure Plan (2014 Plan) and is funded by Measure BB. The 2014 Plan specifies that the funds will be used to implement “successful models aimed at increasing the use of transit among junior high and high school students, including a transit pass program for students in Alameda County.”

The Affordable STPP aims to do the following:

  • Reduce barriers to transportation access to and from schools.
  • Improve transportation options for Alameda County’s middle and high school students.
  • Build support for transit in Alameda County.
  • Develop effective three-year pilot programs.
  • Create a basis for a countywide student transit pass program (funding permitting).

In March 2016, the Commission approved a framework to select model program sites in each of four planning areas in the county and to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the resulting model programs. In the spring, the program team solicited feedback from interested stakeholders, the Commission and workshop participants. This process resulted in a short list of 36 schools.

This pilot program provides a vital opportunity to assess student transportation needs in the county and develop an approach to meet those needs through implementation of a sustainable pass program. The pilot will make it easier to travel to and from school and school-related programs, jobs and other activities, expanding transportation options for Alameda County’s middle and high school students.

The program is expected to run from August 2016 through July 2019. The design of the first year of the program was approved by the Commission in May 2016. During the 2016-2017 school year, 11 middle schools and high schools in Alameda County will participate in the pilot Affordable STPP. Parameters for these initial pilot schools are summarized below.

Pilot Programs

North County Planning Area

  • Pilot Program A: Free and universal (all students) AC Transit bus pass using the Clipper card is being provided to two high schools and one middle school:
    • Fremont High School
    • Castlemont High School
    • Frick Middle School
  • Pilot Program B: Informational program will provide outreach, education and engagement activities to support transit use and share information about available services, including AC Transit and BART at the following schools:
    • Berkeley REALM Charter High School
    • Berkeley REALM Charter Middle School

Central County Planning Area

  • Pilot Program C: Free AC Transit bus pass using the Clipper card is being provided to students at the following schools:
    • San Leandro High School (9th and 10th graders)
    • John Muir Middle School (8th graders)

South County Planning Area

  • Pilot Program D: Discounted transit passes for use on AC Transit (using the Clipper card) and/or Union City Transit (using “flash pass” sticker on student ID card) are being offered to students at the following schools:
    • James Logan High School (9th and 10th graders)
    • Cesar Chavez Middle School (8th graders)

East County Planning Area

  • Program E: Discounted flash pass for use on LAVTA/Wheels using a “flash pass” sticker on student ID cards is being offered to all students (free passes available for those students who qualify for Free and Reduced Price Meals) at the following schools:
    • Livermore High School
    • East Avenue Middle School

Students enrolled in pilot program schools should contact their school administration office for more details on the program.

FAQs and Other Program Information

Pilot Program FAQs

  • North County (in progress)                           
  • Central County (in progress)
  • South County (in progress)
  • East County (in progress)

Travel Training

Evaluation

The evaluation will draw on data collected throughout the year including:

  • Data reported from transit agencies (historical baseline and usage data)
  • Information tracked by the school program administrators
  • Surveys and focus groups at schools

The evaluation framework for the pilot program was approved by the Commission in March 2016. It consists of 18 quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate performance, including:

  • Student perception of transit options and barriers
  • Student ridership
  • Student attendance
  • Pass availability and ease of use
  • Program cost per participant and administrative costs

Background Documents

State of the Practice Review: Case studies of student transit pass programs