August 25, 2011

Santa Clara, Calif. transit debuts student value pass

As families start the annual ritual of shopping for backpacks and supplies for the new school year, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is introducing a new value pass for students to help families stretch their household budgets even further this year.

The “S’Cool” pass provides unlimited rides on bus and light rail for a steeply discounted price. Youths (ages 17 and younger) who purchase the “S’Cool Pass” for $75 will save $60 off the regular price of buying three individual monthly passes.

This new discounted pass, similar to the popular Summer Blast Pass, will go on sale in September and be good for unlimited travel during the months of October, November and December.

Students also will be able to access the free 4G Wi-Fi on board VTA's light rail vehicles. Now, students using VTA Wi-Fi can download their homework assignments and YouTube videos of their summer vacation at lightning speeds.

To notify staff and teachers of changes that have been made since the last school year, VTA is sending schools information packets about the new fare boxes and safety around the light rail system.

For many years, VTA has provided the “Youth Outreach Program” sending staff out to make school presentations about the benefits of taking public transportation and how to be safe when walking or biking around the transit system. Students learn how to plan their trips, while focusing on riding rules and proper transportation etiquette.

VTA also offers teachers a free Class Pass which gives them the opportunity to take students on field trips using VTA buses and light rail. Close to 50,000 teachers and students enjoyed a “class pass” trip during the 2010-2011 school year.

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