Sonoma, Marin county transit agencies team up to offer free summer rides to youth
Young people in Sonoma County can ride public transportation for free this summer.
The Summer Youth Ride Free program offers fare-free rides on Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus and Petaluma Transit from June through August. Marin Transit is also participating in the program.
To catch a free ride, kids just need to show a valid K-12 school or government-issued ID to the driver when boarding the train or bus. High schoolers may use an ID from the spring 2023 semester. Children in eighth grade and below, if asked, may tell the conductor their grade and school if they don’t have an ID.
Kids under age 5 ride free year round, and must be accompanied by an adult.
“What makes this program special is that we have five transit agencies participating in Marin and Sonoma County,” Julia Gonzalez, SMART’s communications and marketing manager said.
Riding public transportation is a great way for young people to gain independence and confidence, she said.
“You are not relying on a parent to give you a ride, and you are also learning some important skills, including how to read a schedule and how to interpret a route map. These are navigational skills that really will help in many other situations in life,” she said.
In a May 16 news release about the program, SMART reminded riders that bicycles are welcome on trains and buses are equipped with bike racks at the front of the bus.
Free rides begin June 1.
For more information, visit SMART’s Summer Youth Ride Free webpage at pdne.ws/3Ok3YTX.