The Los Angeles Community College District received a $1 million grant to continue providing free subway passes to about half a million students throughout the current academic year, officials said .
The initiative, called GoPass, provides a free Metro TAP card to community college students in Los Angeles to use on all subway buses and trains, as well as 13 additional transit agencies. The program benefits up to 500,000 students across the county.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) secured the $1 million in funding through a congressional spending grant, supporting the expansion of GoPass through the 2022-23 school year for all 21 community colleges of Los Angeles County, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“Lack of transportation is one of the biggest barriers for students looking to complete their education, and that’s especially true in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles,” Feinstein said.
The majority of community college students in Los Angeles come from low-income communities, and the district says more than half of its students live at or below the poverty line. Metro U-Passes cost $160 or more per semester.
The GoPass helps break down that cost barrier, Metro officials said.
The initiative was launched in December 2021, following a push from student advocates. The GoPass added 20 school districts in its second year and plans to add 10 more, subway officials said, as well as offering free transit passes to students at participating schools in the kindergarten to 12th grade.
The agency said it was looking to double attendance over the next year.
Los Angeles Times