TriMet is proposing a reduction in youth transit fares three days before a youth summit to discuss transit justice. One of the key issues under discussion at summit will be equity. That's because Portland Public schools students get a youth pass that allows them to travel for free any time. Students east of 82nd Avenue do not.
The summit is set to run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, in the North Cafeteria at David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135th Ave., Portland. (Breakfast starts at 10:15.) All youth are invited to attend.
Now TriMet says it plans to reduce the cost of youth fares –and its contribution to the cost of the PPS student Youth Pass.
In an article on TriMet’s website, spokesperson Mary Fetsch writes:
“TriMet is proposing to reduce its Youth fares to provide a lower cost ride for all young people in the tri-county region. The agency is proposing to reduce the single-ride ticket by 40 cents, from $1.65 to $1.25 and reduce the monthly pass by $2, from $30 to $28. Youth fares are for those between the ages of 7 and 17.
Currently 12,600 Portland Public School District high school students receive free transit passes for the school year under the Student Pass Program. PPS is the only school district in the metro region that does not provide yellow bus service to high school students, and is the only district that TriMet provides a discounted fare program.
For the past two years, the City of Portland, PPS and TriMet have shared the cost of the PPS Student Pass Program, which costs about $3 million. McFarlane says TriMet will reduce its contribution to the PPS in the form of reduced fare revenue of $634,000. That reduction, along with reducing the cost of the Youth fares and using $140,000 from uncommitted funds from the agency’s Low Income Mitigation fund means that the reduction in Youth fares will have no financial impact on TriMet’s budget.
If approved by the TriMet board of directors, the change would take effect on Sept. 1, 2014. The TriMet board will consider the change to the PPS Student Pass Program at its June 11, 2014 board meeting."
The youth-led summit on transit will also discuss other issues youth have with transit. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided, but youth are encouraged to bring a water bottle.
Click here to register in advance so organizers can bring enough tee-shirts for all. Free TriMet tickets will be available to all attendees.
Adult community leaders will be invited at 2:30pm for the second half of the summit to have a chance to her from youth about issues they face while riding TriMet. The first half, however, is reserved for youth to have a chance to learn and create policy around their experiences with the public transit system.
Takes a picture of yourself taking transit to the summit and you will be entered into a special raffle.