Affordable Youth Transportation to School

In 2001, Kids First Youth Organizers anchored a student organizing effort to make presentations, develop messages, coordinate actions and collect over 3,500 postcards to win free and affordable transportation for low-income students to get to-and-from school in the AC Transit service area throughout Alameda and West Contra Costa counties. Kids First worked closely with other youth organizations such as Youth Together and AYPAL, as well as transportation advocates and elected officials’ (including Alameda County Supervisor, Keith Carson) to testify repeatedly and persuade the nine-county Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to approve a two-year, two million dollar pilot program that provided free bus passes to 25,000 students who qualify for the school free-lunch program and won a discounted youth bus pass for all other students from $27 per month down to $15 dollars. The youth developed and collected 1,300 Student Bus Rider surveys to educate the public and decision-makers about transportation issues impacting transit-dependent youth. Kids First, in partnership with the Transportation Justice Coalition has successfully fought off proposed youth fare increases (every year for three years) and finally won a commitment from AC Transit to use transportation parcel tax revenue to keep the youth bus fares at $15.