GoPss Program Promotes Social Equity & Expands Economic Opportunities
Just in time for back to school, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announces a partnership with Target, who has agreed to sponsor Inglewood Unified School District’s GoPass participation for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.
This will mean that nearly 8,000 students enrolled in Inglewood Unified School District will be eligible for the GoPass Tap Card allowing them unlimited free rides on Metro buses and trains and on other participating municipal transit operators enrolled in the Metro GoPass Fareless Program.
“Hats off to Target and Metro in forging this partnership funding deal that marks the first business sponsorship of the GoPass Fareless Program for K-14 students, and we hope it will be the first of many to come as the programs grows in popularity,” said Glendale City Councilmember and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian.
Transportation is a big cost to families, and lack of access to transportation sometimes results in kids missing school. The GoPass Program provides financial relief by offering students grades K-14 and attending participating schools with unlimited access to transit ensuring they always have a way to get to school. And because their pass is valid all day, every day, students can also use the GoPass for other activities such as commuting to a weekend job or attending sporting and cultural events, promoting social equity, and providing greater access to economic opportunities.
“This represents a win-win for Inglewood Students and Metro as major corporations like Target begin to realize the importance of this program and how attracting new younger riders to the Metro system benefits all of us in the long run,” said Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Member James T. Butts. “I applaud Target and Metro for working together to make this a reality.”
“Moving to a fareless system is one of our most effective tools to help alleviate financial burdens and achieve equitable outcomes, especially for our young people who have already taken over 5.6 million trips since the GoPass program began last October,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member, Holly J. Mitchell. “The high demand for this program further highlights the importance of creative partnerships like this that invest in community needs and make public transit more accessible.”
“We are extremely grateful for the generous support that Target has made by purchasing 8,000 GoPass TAP cards for all of our students, who will now have access to free public transportation for a year. This is a reflection of Target and Metro’s commitment to our Inglewood students, families, and community”, said County Administrator for Inglewood Unified School District, Dr. Erika Torres.
“We know that private-public partnerships can be instrumental in solving some of our greatest challenges. And one of those challenges is ensuring our region’s young people can get to school, learn, graduate and succeed,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “The availability of transportation is critical in ensuring our most vulnerable neighbors can do that. I’m grateful that Target recognizes the importance of investing in the neighborhoods they serve in such a powerful way.”
Metro’s GoPass Program has been a tremendous success and continues to expand as more and more school districts enroll in the program. In the 2021-2022 school year, the program had 51 participating K-12 districts and charter networks and 14 community colleges participating.
In addition, nearly 140,000 participating students took over 5.5. million trips on Metro and 12 partner transit agencies. Metro is starting the second year of the Pilot with over 20 new K-12 districts and two new community colleges joining the program. Metro’s goal for the second year of the program is to double boardings and participants. To find out about the GoPass program and the school district signed up as well as participating transit agencies honoring the GoPass program go to www.metro.net/GoPass.
Target and Metro will work together to give every Inglewood Unified student needed access to reliable, clean, safe transportation. In addition, Metro continues to seek funding sources to extend the GoPass program beyond the June 30, 2023 pilot end date including state and federal funding and additional sponsorships.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is currently providing lifeline service for essential trips and frontline workers. Metro continues building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan.
Metro has proudly pledged to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Health and Safety Commitment Program to help ensure the safe return of transit riders as the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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