New program gives students free transportation this summer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --
As school is ending, summer programs and sports practices are gearing up.
Now Transpo is rolling out a new program that will provide free transportation to those activities for students.
Broderick Brown is a parent in South Bend who can remember using public transportation when he was a student.
"To work, to home, wherever I needed to go," he said.
Now Brown has a son in high school who uses the bus, but always has to pay.
That's something Transpo decided needed to change.
"We identified a need of really needing additional transportation options for students during the summer, so we launched our summer travel pass,” said Amy Hill, Interim general manager and CEO of Transpo. “At the time we did charge 30 dollars which provided unlimited travel the months of June, July and August."
The travel pass program started in 2013. After an average of 6000 student rides a year, Hill said Transpo felt they could do more.
So this year, they decided to make the months of June, July and August free rides for students.
From those in schools, parks and other programs offered throughout the community, all say this program opens up new opportunities for students.
"It will help our kids go to practices, it will help them with work, so it's just a great program for our students," said Dr. Kenneth Spells, superintendent of South Bend School District.
“If we can get kids exploring our community and understanding this is truly one community, not just having to stay in your neighborhood, that's a one plus one equals three in my mind," said Executive Director of Venues Parks and Arts Aaron Perri.
"We're so grateful to Transpo for providing this free transportation for our children,” said Wanda Dudley from the Kroc Center. “There's so much you can do here at the Kroc Center and we're looking forward to welcoming many more new faces to the Kroc Center over the summer months."
The free fares start June 1 and continue through the end of August.
Students just need to show their student ID.