The Alameda CTC Commission approved Year Three of the program, which will provide more students free transportation to school in Alameda County.
At its February meeting, the Alameda County Transportation Commission approved Year 3 of the successful Student Transit Pass Pilot (STPP) Program, a key component of Measure BB. The program provides free public transit passes to students in selected schools throughout Alameda County. An evaluation of year one of the program found that the program increased school attendance, had a high financial impact for students and their families, and increased after-school involvement.
“The Student Transit Pass Program has delivered on its promises to reduce barriers to transportation access to and from schools, improve transportation options for middle and high school students for afterschool activities and jobs, and build support for transit,” says Alameda CTC Chair Richard Valle, Alameda County District 2 Supervisor. “I’m proud that we have expanded the program to six additional schools for the 2018-19 school year. As a Transportation Commission, this – improving transportation access – is among the most important work we do.”
Over 6,000 students from fifteen middle and high schools throughout Alameda County are participating in the second year of the Pilot. Program participation has doubled since year one. In year three, 19,000 students will have access to free transit passes, with new students from middle and high schools in Oakland, Fremont, and Newark. The schools were selected from an approved list of 36 schools pre-approved for participation in the three-year Pilot based on student need, transit access, and school readiness. Year Three implementation will begin in August 2018.
Based on lessons learned from Year One, the Alameda CTC is testing two program models during the second and third year of the Pilot: a free and universal model that provides free passes to all students, and a free and means-based model which provides free passes to low-income students. With the expansion in year three, the pilot will include 21 schools in seven school districts; with implementation of a free and universal model at 13 schools and a free and means-based model at 7 schools.
The Pilot includes training for participating middle schoolers on how to ride the bus including trip planning, navigating to and from the bus stop, and safe and courteous behaviors while on the bus. During Year Three, the program will begin to integrate this transit/travel training element of the program with the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program.
The bus passes are provided on an easy-to-use Clipper card that is valid for travel year round and not limited by day or time. Participating high school students can also opt to receive a youth BART ticket to enhance their travel options.