Today, 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 Assembly Committee on Transportation with unanimous, bi-partisan support.
“We need to create a pathway to success for the students of today by reducing the barrier of transit,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.
AB 1919 would require all transit agencies receiving state funds under the Transportation Development Act, the State Transit Assistance Program, and the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program to provide fare-free transit to youth 25 years or younger. The bill would also allocate $115 million for the creation of passes so that struggling transit agencies can ensure their fare-box revenue losses will not be compounded.
A study by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs found that approximately 8% of youth (18 years old and under) use transit daily, that 25% of youth use it at least monthly, that transit is disproportionately depended upon by individuals age 16-30 and transit use is strongly statistically associated with “student status.” Furthermore, it is increasingly of concern how transit costs relate to educational equity as students without reliable or affordable transit options suffer adverse educational outcomes, according to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. AB 1919 would help students access transit and also increase ridership for struggling transit agencies in the long-term.
“Study after study has shown that the kind of program that AB 1919 would create is the most successful way to expand access to fare-free transportation for our youth and help reduce current transportation inequities affecting millions of Californians,” said Eli Lipmen, Deputy Director of Move LA.
“Transportation inequity, exacerbates educational inequity statewide. I am committed to education, because through education, youth can build their toolkits for now and their futures,” said Holden.