This week, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill to require transit agencies to provide free youth transit passes to youth 25 years or younger, Assembly Bill 1919, passed the Senate Committee on Transportation with unanimous, bi-partisan support.
“We have seen studies show that a fare-free program is the sustainable solution to transportation inequity statewide. I am committed to students: their education and the way they commute to obtain it. It is through education that we can help our youth build their toolkits for generations to come,” Holden said.
AB 1919 would create the Student Transit Pass Pilot Program, whereby transit agencies may apply for grants for the purpose of creating fare-free student transit passes accessible to students within a transit provider’s locality.
Additionally, the bill specifies a report must be submitted to the Legislature that assesses whether the program increased transit ridership among student users, how many have created or expanded a transit pass program, and provides recommendations to expand transit pass programs.
The bill would also require a report on the program’s outcomes, including whether the program increased transit ridership among student users, to be submitted to the Legislature.