LA Metro’s GoPass programme empowers students with fare-free access to transit

Posted: 29 August 2023 | | No comments yet

As the GoPass programme enters its third year, it continues to gain momentum, with nearly 275,000 registered students benefiting from fare-free transit, contributing to a significant 43% increase in student ridership.

LA Metro's GoPass programme empowers students with fare-free access to transit

Credit: LA Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has announced that it is championing its GoPass pilot programme, which aims to foster seamless mobility and equitable opportunities by offering unlimited free rides on Metro buses and rails to K-12 students and community college attendees.

The GoPass programme, which has recently been renewed for a third year by LA Metro’s board, has garnered immense popularity and marked success. With an impressive roster of 274,915 registered students currently utilising GoPass for their daily commutes, school-related activities and leisure trips, the programme has contributed to a 43% surge in student ridership compared to pre-pandemic levels.

According to LA Metro, all schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are set to provide their students with access to GoPass during the upcoming school year. Activation codes for the programme will be accessible through the LAUSD student portal, making it for students to embark on their transportation journeys. In addition, the Torrance Unified School District is embracing the programme’s benefits and will be joining the initiative in Autumn 2023.

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair, Karen Bass, said: “We are excited to bring back the successful and popular GoPass pilot programme and make it available again for a third year to even more K-12 and community college students. I look forward to seeing how we can continue this programme further.”

LA Metro reports increased ridership and enhanced services

The GoPass pilot programme‘s reach extends to all students whose school districts have enrolled in the initiative. Participating schools facilitate distribution of TAP cards and activation codes, enabling students to travel without the burden of fares. The programme offers multiple options for card activation, including an online portal and a dedicated activation hotline. Moreover, the innovative TAP LA App allows students to virtually access their TAP cards, enhancing convenience and flexibility.

Entering its third year, the GoPass programme has gained significant momentum, attracting participation from 102 school districts and charter networks, encompassing an impressive total of 1,441 schools. Since its inception in October 2021, the programme has facilitated more than 22 million boardings, providing tangible benefits to students, families, and the entire community.

Metro’s CEO, Stephanie Wiggins, said: “GoPass is central to our strategy to build transit ridership by introducing young people to the benefits of using transit long before they drive. We look forward to welcoming even more students onto our system in the coming school year.” 

The GoPass programme extends its reach beyond LA Metro services, encompassing a multitude of transit options, including the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) (beginning September 2023), City of Commerce Transit, Culver CityBus, Foothill Transit, Glendale Beeline, GTrans, LADOT DASH, LA County Shuttles, Long Beach Transit, Lynwood Trolley, Montebello Bus, Norwalk Transit, Pasadena Transit, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Torrance Transit. This comprehensive network aims to open doors to diverse experiences for young people throughout the region without the burden of transportation costs.