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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Nov. 28, 2023

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C-Tran expands free bus program to all 18 and younger

Passes cover all modes of transit, available Saturday

By , Columbian staff writer

C-Tran directors approved the expansion of the transit agency’s youth opportunity pass program to provide free transit access to all riders 18 and younger.

Directors approved the move at their meeting Tuesday. The expanded program will take effect Saturday. The program covers all modes of transit operating in C-Tran’s service area.

C-Tran joins many other transit agencies in Washington that, as of Sept. 1, allowed individuals 18 and younger to ride for free as part of Move Ahead Washington, a $17 billion, 16-year transportation revenue package passed by the Legislature this year. The program set aside roughly $1.5 billion for local transit agencies on the condition they make trains, buses and ferries free for youth.

Passes can be obtained at any C-Tran Customer Service location, including the Vancouver Mall Transit Center. Local students can also acquire transit passes through their schools if they’re part of the existing youth opportunity pass program.

“We’re grateful to the C-Tran board for its support, and for the Move Ahead Washington program that has helped facilitate this expansion for us and other transit systems across the state,” Eric Florip, C-Tran manager of communications, marketing and customer experience, said in a statement to The Columbian.

C-Tran’s youth opportunity pass program launched as a pilot program in 2015, offering free transit access to middle school and high school students in participating school districts.

It has since expanded to a total of six districts and other partners in Clark County. Agreements between C-Tran and those school districts will remain in place, meaning students can still obtain transit passes through their schools.

“We’re excited to move forward with this expansion of C-Tran’s youth opportunity pass program, which will be a huge benefit to young people in Clark County,” Florip said.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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