U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), and Metro today announced that LACCD has secured a $1 million grant from Congress to expand Metro’s GoPass program to the 2022-23 academic year for the 21 community colleges in LA County.
The program provides free transportation on Metro and 13 other agencies for students in participating schools from K-14.
With high gas prices and escalating car and insurance costs, driving to campus is simply not an option for many students. Prior to the launch of Metro’s GoPass program, LACCD students paid $160 or more per semester for a Metro U-Pass, which was unaffordable for many community college students. Free public transit has removed one of the biggest barriers facing LACCD students and made it easier for students to return to in-person instruction this fall.
About a quarter of LACCD students said they regularly used public transport to attend classes before COVID-19, their main concern being price – LACCD serves a 68% low-income student body. Free public transport for a year has a significant impact on the family budget. Free public transit makes it easier for students to take advantage of on-campus student amenities and services.
Metro’s GoPass for K-14 students has grown in popularity since its official launch in 2021. Metro has already added 20 new school districts for Year 2 and is in the process of adding 10 more. Metro is looking to double participation in the program over the next year to help more students. To that end, earlier this month, Metro partnered with Glendale Community College to make the program available to its 15,000 community college students.
For more information on Metro’s GoPass Fareless Pass program, please visit www.metro.net/gopass.
“Lack of transportation is one of the biggest barriers for students wanting to complete their education, and that’s especially true in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles,” said Sen. Feinstein. “That’s why this program, which will allow up to 500,000 LA County community college students to apply for the GoPass program, is so important. I was thrilled to support this funding and will continue to advocate for funding that will enable students across California to advance their education.
“As a longtime community college teacher, I believe students shouldn’t have to make the difficult choice between paying for transportation or buying breakfast,” said administrator Andra Hoffman. “I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and rode the bus all around Los Angeles to school and work. I’m proud to be part of the solution with the GoPass program and have look forward to continuing to make it easier for all students to get to school and work safely.Access to affordable and reliable transportation should be a right for all students.
“I would like to personally thank U.S. Senator Feinstein for her assistance in obtaining this critically important grant to expand LACCD’s participation in Metro’s GoPass program,” said Ara J. Najarian, Member of the Glendale City Council and President. of Metro’s board of directors. “Now more community college students can take advantage of free transit on Metro – not just to get to school, but to any other destination these students want or need to travel in our county. It’s a true unlimited pass program that I know will improve the lives of students and save them huge amounts of money in transportation costs.
“We are thrilled to have this program extended for another year,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D. en commun gratuit allows more students to access higher education directly. As we return to more in-person classes and services on campus, this program will be a real lifeline in accelerating student success.
“Transportation costs should never come between our students and opportunities,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our community colleges are gateways to prosperity for Angelenos in every ZIP code – and thanks to this grant from Senator Feinstein, Metro can continue to do its part to ensure nothing stands in the way of our students pursuing their dreams.”
“We have set an ambitious goal of doubling the number of students participating in GoPass because we know it can make such a positive difference in their academic and economic success,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “This grant helps remove a financial barrier for hundreds of thousands of students and gives them more freedom to seek jobs, opportunities and hobbies. I encourage all LACCD students to take advantage of our free GoPass program today!