January 06, 2023

'Youth Ride Free' Program Sees Big Increase in Ridership in 2022



RAPID CITY, SD—More than 35,000 youth passenger trips were recorded on Rapid Transit System’s (RTS) RapidRide program in 2022, a 9.6 percent increase over 2021.

            The ‘Youth Ride Free’ program reported increases in seven of the nine months youth were in school during the 2022 calendar year.  A total of 35,114 youth passenger trips were recorded from January through May, and September through December, a nearly 10 percent hike over the 31,896 trips recorded for the same period in 2021.

            The only ridership decreases came in April and December.  Last month, a total of 2,147 youth passenger trips were recorded, down from the 2,722 trips recorded in December 2021.  School was out of session 13 of the 22 week days in December.

            “It was a great year overall for the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program,” said Megan Gould-Stabile, Rapid Transit System manager.  “December was a tough month with most students out for up to two weeks.

            “Any time you have an increase in ridership over the year before in most of the months, it shows the program continues to be a success.”

            Gould-Stabile reminds youth and parents the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program serves as a convenient option during the cold winter months.  “It’s a great option when roads are snow packed and icy, or the school car doesn’t want to start,” said Gould-Stabile.

            For more information about the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program, contact RTS at 605-394-6631.

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