August 19, 2020

(UPDATE) Rapid Transit System Resumes Saturday Service; 'Youth Ride Free' Program Begins Fifth Year

For a fifth consecutive year, RapidRide will be providing youth free rides as part of the 'Youth Ride Free' program. The program will begin with the first day of school September 8 with some requirements of masks for all passengers; no passes but registration of name, school and contact info of the student is required. For a fifth consecutive year, RapidRide will be providing youth free rides as part of the 'Youth Ride Free' program. The program will begin with the first day of school September 8 with some requirements of masks for all passengers; no passes but registration of name, school and contact info of the student is required. (City File Photo/Darrell Shoemaker)

RAPID CITY, SD--Effective Saturday (September 5), Rapid Transit System (RTS) will resume Saturday transit services with its RapidRide and Dial-a-Ride transportation operations.

   Saturday services were halted May 30 when RTS suspended all operations after three drivers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Monday to Friday transit services resumed in mid-July.

   "We are back to a point where we have the number of drivers to resume Saturday services," said RTS Manager Megan Gould. "We have appreciated the patience of our patrons as we've worked to get back into full operation. We look forward to getting our riders to their Saturday appointments and destinations."

   Saturday hours of operation for RapidRide and Dial-a-Ride will be the same as before the May 30 shutdown: RapidRide 9:50 a.m.-4:40 p.m. and Dial-A-Ride from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

   Gould said both RapidRide and Dial-a-Ride drivers and passengers will be required to wear masks on the buses. Hygiene protocols will be followed at the conclusion of each route. Social distancing protocols will be followed when possible, however the number of passengers on certain routes at certain times of the day may make social distancing impossible to enforce.

   For more information, contact Rapid Transit System at 394-6631 beginning Monday.

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City program provides free transportation to most schools;

Riders must wear masks, register for 2020-21 year

RAPID CITY, SD--For a fifth consecutive school year, youth will be able to ride free on the City's RapidRide buses.

            Rapid Transit System (RTS) officials made the announcement this week to provide some peace of mind for parents who may be considering transportation options for their school-aged children for the 2020-21 school year. RapidRide provides public transportation on six different fixed routes with timely service to many convenient locations in Rapid City, including most of the schools.

            RTS Manager Megan Gould said there will be some changes in the 'Youth Ride Free' program this school year.  Both RapidRide drivers and passengers will be required to wear masks on the buses.  Hygiene protocols will be followed at the conclusion of each route.  Social distancing protocols will be followed when possible, however the number of passengers on certain routes at certain times of the school day will make social distancing impossible to enforce.

            Passes will not be required this school year, however, parents or guardians must register their child with Rapid Transit System by calling 394-6631 and providing the name and school of the student and contact information of the parent or guardian.

            The 'Youth Ride Free' program with the registration requirement begins with the first day of school, Tuesday, September 8.

            "As the school year approaches, there remains a lot of uncertainty and challenges with COVID moving forward," said Gould.  "We want to remove one item off the checklist and provide some peace of mind for parents and youth when it comes to transportation options.

            "The 'Youth Ride Free' program has been successful for the past several years, providing youth a convenient option for getting to and from school and to community and school activities.  It also provides a flexible option for parents on days when the school car isn't operating or weather poses a challenge."

            The idea originated with Mayor Steve Allender in the summer of 2016 and was supported by Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon. 

            For more information about the Youth Ride Free program and to provide registration information for students, contact RTS at 394-6631.

            Youth passenger trips recorded by RTS the past four academic years:

School Year               Youth Passenger Trips

2019-20                       77,241  (September to March 13)

2018-19                       115,319 (September-May)

2017-18                       117,459 (September-May)

2016-17                       88,250   (September-May)

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Thank you,

Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator

T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551

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W: www.rcgov.org

 

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