GoRaleigh, along with GoTriangle, GoCary and GoDurham, will launch the new Youth GoPass on Monday, August 6th, for teens ages 13 to 18. The free passes, which will be available for issue at GoRaleigh Station, allows teens to travel throughout the Triangle area at no cost.
Children age 12 and under already ride GoRaleigh buses for free, and the concept of allowing 13 to 18-year-olds to ride fare-free was spearheaded by Raleigh City Council Member Kay Crowder, District D. Mrs. Crowder initially requested staff to investigate the feasibility of free transit passes for youth. “My interest in this program is to provide opportunities for high school students to use the bus system for after-school activities such as getting to tutoring sessions, participating in athletic events, and as a way to provide opportunities to have an after-school job. With this type of initiative, we grow our next user base for public transit, providing opportunities to become familiar with an alternative to the car-centric, default means of getting around.”
The Youth GoPass is funded by the Wake Transit Plan, in which voters approved a half-cent sales tax dedicated to transit in Wake County. Surrounding counties have also gone forward with similar plans, information on those plans can be found at GoForwardNC.org.
“We soft-launched the Youth GoPass at the beginning of the month and have been pleased with the participation,” says Matthew McCall, assistant general manager of GoRaleigh operations. “In the past three weeks we’ve issued nearly 200 Youth GoPasses which have already been used for more than 1700 trips through the city.” He also noted that existing GoRaleigh bus routes serve Broughton, Athens Drive, Millbrook, Raleigh Charter, Southeast Raleigh, and Enloe High Schools.
The Youth GoPass will be available at several locations in Raleigh including all Wake County public libraries, City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation community centers, and GoRaleigh Station’s information booth downtown. Additional distribution sites for the Triangle area can be found at YouthGoPass.com. To get a pass, teens or their guardians will need to fill out a registration form and provide one of these proofs of age: birth certificate, valid school ID with school year, driver’s license, transit ID card, or another government-issued ID with their date of birth. Once teens have their new Youth GoPass there is no additional ID needed to board the buses.
“Trip planning is made easy on GoRaleigh.org or by using the transit feature on google maps. It’s even easier for teens to connect to transit in real-time using the Transloc app on smartphones. We also have a responsive social media presence on Twitter and Snapchat,” says David Eatman, transit administrator for the City of Raleigh.
Mrs. Crowder continues, “I am excited about this opportunity for the youth of Raleigh – as well as all of the youth that reside in our region thanks to the participation of GoTriangle. Many thanks to my colleagues on the Raleigh City Council for agreeing to support this important initiative.”
GoRaleigh, the City of Raleigh’s transit service, provides bus service throughout Raleigh. Route maps, schedules and other information can be found at GoRaleigh.org. You can also connect to GoRaleigh on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat using @goraleighnc.