Metro Extends K-12 Rides Free Program Through Summer
May 20, 2022
Today, Metro announced the extension of K-12 Rides Free through students’ summer break. The program provides free transit access for kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Omaha area.
“The K-12 Rides Free program has shown us how many students are interested in riding public transportation,” said Metro CEO, Lauren Cencic. “We’re thrilled to extend access for students seeking a variety of opportunities during the summer, including education, jobs, and other activities.”
The pilot program provides free bus, MOBY, and ORBT rides for all kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Omaha and surrounding area during Metro’s regular service hours. The program started on May 10, 2021, and was scheduled to end on June 1, 2022.
The program has highlighted a strong demand from young people to utilize transit in the community. K-12 Rides Free is on track to surpass 150,000 rides by the end of the school year, up 75% from pre-COVID student ridership.
“National trends show that more and more teenagers are waiting longer to get their driver’s license,” said Cencic. “K-12 Rides Free provides an easy alternative, while also teaching them the skills to navigate transit as they get older.”
The first year of K-12 Rides Free was funded by a generous grant from a local philanthropic organization. Based on the success of the pilot, Metro is pursuing additional funding to extend the program. Metro will share updated information about the future of the program prior to the start of the next school year.