October 04, 2021

'Youth Ride Free' Program Opens With Solid September

4,200 passenger trips recorded;

Highest number since onset of COVID-19

RAPID CITY, SD—Rapid Transit System (RTS) recorded more than 4,200 youth passenger trips in September, the first month of the 2021-22 school year.  The total is the highest number of youth passenger trips for a month since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

RTS officials are pleased with the solid start in ridership for the academic year.  During the 2020-21 school year, Rapid Transit System recorded more than 27,600 youth passenger trips, achieving 3,000 or more youth boardings in seven of the nine months of the academic year.

September’s total of 4,216 youth passenger trips compares to 1,923 for September of 2020 but remains much lower than the 13,492 youth trips recorded in September 2019.

“It was a solid month to start off the school year,” said Megan Gould, Rapid Transit System manager.  “We are growing in youth ridership compared to this past school year.  More youth and parents are recognizing the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program provides a consistent, safe option for transportation to school and to activities in the community.”

Gould reminds parents registration is required for the free transportation program.  Parents and guardians can contact Rapid Transit Service at 394-6631 to register or go online to rapidride.org and click on the ‘Youth Ride Free’ button. Information requested includes student’s name, school, parent or guardian’s name, and a phone number for emergency contact purposes. Gould also reminds families the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program provides a convenient transportation option during the winter months.

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