Youth Ride Free program continues for 7th year
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid Transit System is offering the Youth Ride Free program for its seventh consecutive year during the 2022-23 school year.
Reliable transportation to and from school is something a lot of families need for the school year, and RTS is offering a free ride orientation period beginning August 22-29 for parents to become familiar with routes and schedules by boarding any of the RapidRide buses. Parents can also ride for free during the orientation period when accompanied by their school-aged child.
Orientation rides are also a great opportunity for parents and children to ride together to learn about transit schedules and boarding locations.
A total of 33,101 youth riders utilized the Youth Ride Free program during the 2021-22 school year, a 17.9% increase over the number of youth riders using the program during the previous school year. That number compares to 27,662 youth trips recorded during the same time period for the 2020-21 school year.
“The Youth Ride Free program continues to be a great success,” said RTS System Manager Megan Gould-Stabile. “The service provides parents with peace of mind knowing there is a reliable option for getting their child to school. The program is a free and convenient option for transportation to and from school for youth and anywhere along our fixed route system. It’s also a great option when that school car isn’t working or we have cold, inclement weather with icy roads.”
Registration is required for the free transportation program and parents and guardians can contact Rapid Transit Service at 605-394-6631 to register or go online and click on the ‘Youth Ride Free’ button where the student’s name, school, parent or guardian’s name and a phone number for emergency contact purposes will need to be entered. Maps and ride schedules will be available online as well.
Mayor Steve Allender announced the free youth transportation program in the summer of 2016 where it would provide students better access to schools, libraries, recreation and social events as well as save money for families and foster appreciation for public transportation among Rapid City’s youth.