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Free bus rides for teens: TCAT’s youth pass program launches this summer

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) will offer free bus rides to teens starting this summer.

In March, the TCAT Board of Directors passed a resolution to create a free “youth pass program,” which gives children 17-years-old and under free bus rides year-round, according to Ithaca Voice.

TCAT Board Chair and Acting Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis said the program came out of a desire to getting more youth riding transit and is very much in line with TCAT’s sustainability initiative.


TCAT previously charged 6 to 17-year-olds $0.75 per ride, or half-fare. The “youth pass program” is estimated to cost $30,000 annually, or 1% of TCAT’s annual fair revenue. TCAT expects the loss of fair revenue to be offset by funds from the state Transportation Operating Assistance program.

The program was created by TCAT, Tompkins County Youth Services, and Ithaca Youth Bureau’s Youth Employment Services.



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