LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced a one-year pilot program to provide free DASH bus passes to all Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) students.
“A lack of reliable transportation should never be a roadblock between students and their dreams,” said Mayor Garcetti. “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.”
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 percent. In other U.S. cities that have implemented similar initiatives, more than 90 percent of students have reported seeing clear benefits from free bus passes — including better attendance and improved grades.
The pilot was developed in partnership with Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who co-authored City Council legislation dedicating state Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) funds in support of the program.
“Offering free transit on DASH busses helps support students in L.A. and makes life a little easier for young Angelenos,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “I was proud to author the legislation creating this pilot program and I’m excited to work on behalf of current and future generations of transit riders in our neighborhoods.”
“The pilot program provides an opportunity to connect students across Los Angeles with a free, safe, reliable transportation option that can help reduce their barriers to mobility — improving their ability to get to school or a job, access resources, and explore opportunities that set them up for success,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “Free DASH passes will not only spur transit use by students, it will also help foster a new generation of public transit riders.”
“Free transportation on LADOT’s DASH buses connects students to learning in and outside the classroom,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “When we reduce barriers to education, we bridge students to opportunities, which are the brick and mortar of a more resilient Los Angeles.”
Approximately 30 percent of LACCD College Promise students report struggling to pay for transportation. Over 20 percent report having to miss or stop attending classes due to the cost or lack of access to reliable transportation.