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Changes Announced for Free Bus Program
Linda Mah
/ Categories: Communications

Changes Announced for Free Bus Program

Students Must Opt-In to Participate

In August, the City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Public Schools and Metro launched the Metro Youth Mobility Bus Pass through the generous support of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence.

The pilot project provides students at the Kalamazoo Innovative Learning Program, and Kalamazoo Central, Loy Norrix, and Phoenix high schools with a special bus pass that allows free public bus transportation to students using the pass along with their student IDs. The program has had a positive impact on students and families, providing students with more than 70,000 bus rides since August.

The program will be undergoing several modifications to encourage positive student behavior and interactions within the transportation system and to help maximize general public ridership during peak travel times.

First, effective, Sunday, Nov. 24, current Youth Mobility bus passes will no longer be active. Free bus service will still be provided, but to participate, students need to:

Sign and return the enclosed opt-in form to their high school office, starting Nov. 19.

Once the form has been returned, the students will receive a tamper-proof bus pass sticker to place on their school ID. This will allow them to continue to ride the Metro buses as part of the pilot project.

In January 2020, students with the temporary bus stickers will be issued a new Youth Mobility Bus Pass, valid through Sept. 1. The new pass will have the student ID on one side and the bus pass on the other side. Students may continue to opt-in to the Youth Mobility Bus program — and to receive a bus pass — through June 1.

Second, to address capacity issues during peak ridership times, Metro will not be accepting the Youth Mobility Bus Pass or the temporary sticker pass from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Dec. 2. These reduced service hours will run through Feb. 3.

Parents and guardians are asked to review the rules of conduct for Metro buses and the Kalamazoo Transportation Center with their students prior to signing the opt-in form. The rules of conduct will help ensure students know how to be responsible public transportation users and help create a safe and positive riding environment for the entire community. Failure to abide by the Rules of Conduct for Metro and the Kalamazoo Transportation Center could result in loss of Youth Mobility Bus Pass privileges and/or banning from the Kalamazoo Transportation Center or Metro public transportation.

For further information regarding the opt-in process and form, please contact your student’s high school. For specific information on bus routes, bus schedules, rules of conduct for Metro, or learning how to ride the bus, please call (269) 337-8222.

Copies of this text in the form of letters sent families, as well as the opt-in forms can be found as PDFs at the bottom of this page. Forms are in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

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