Free DASH bus passes will be provided to all Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles Community College District students under a one-year pilot program announced June 3 by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
"A lack of reliable transportation should never be a roadblock between students and their dreams," Garcetti said. "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."
The one-year pilot program, which will provide students with unlimited rides on DASH buses operated by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, was developed with Councilmen Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian. They co-authored City Council legislation dedicating state Low Carbon Transit Operations Program funds to cover the program's cost.
"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," Krekorian said. "Free DASH passes will not only spur transit use by students, it will also help foster a new generation of public transit riders."
About 30% of LACCD College Promise students reported that they struggle to pay for transportation, and 20 percent reported missing or not attending classes due to the cost or lack of access to reliable transportation, according to the mayor’s office.