Supervisors approve funding to keep Sonoma County Transit free for college students, local routes

Local college students will be able to keep taking Sonoma County Transit buses for free into 2024.|

Local college students will be able to keep taking Sonoma County Transit buses for free into 2024 after the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved funding to continue the free rides program Tuesday, according to a news release from the County of Sonoma.

The program is in agreement with Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University and runs through fiscal fiscal year 2023-24, ending June 30, 2024.

College students have been able to ride for free on Sonoma County Transit since 2015.

County general fund contributions under the agreements may total up to $57,000 based on projected ridership as both transit and college attendance recovers following the COVID-19 pandemic, the county said.

The board also authorized funding for continued fare-free service for Sonoma County Transit’s local bus routes 28 and 32, which travel through unincorporated areas of west Sonoma County and the Sonoma Valley respectively.

“For many Sonoma County families, access to public transit is essential to their employment, to their education and to their overall well-being,” Supervisor James Gore, the board chair, said in the release. “Today, we reinstated multiyear support for fare-free transit service at financial amounts that reflect projected ridership and allow for an increase to pre-pandemic levels.”

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