LADOT offers free DASH bus rides for any and every K-12 or college student – Daily News

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The Los Angeles Department of Transportation launched a program offering bus rides free of charge to K-12 and college students in Los Angeles on Monday, the day before students at LA Unified School District return to classrooms for a new school year.

DASH buses are already inexpensive – rides are 50 cents a piece – but the DASH to Class pilot program aims to increase ridership while helping students get to classrooms more days and on time. Any student in LA County is eligible to receive a reduced-fare TAP card needed to receive the free rides.

The pilot was developed in partnership with L.A. City Councilmen Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian, who co-authored council legislation dedicating state Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) funds in support of the program.

Based on current ridership trends and projections, LADOT estimates that providing free DASH passes to LAUSD and LACCD students will increase student ridership by 10%. Any student in LA County is eligible to apply for the reduced price TAP card online by providing photo ID and proof of enrollment.

Addressing school administrators last week, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner touted a decrease last year in chronic absenteeism – students absent about 16 days or more. That drop in half a percentage point to 12.7%, however, followed a jump the previous year at 13.2%.

“A lack of reliable transportation should never be a roadblock between students and their dreams,” said Garcetti in June, when he first announced the program.

“Free DASH passes will help students get to class on time, save money for families who are struggling to make ends meet, boost school attendance, and empower young people to get involved with clubs or take a job that previously felt out of reach.”

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