Portland, Maine’s Public Schools’ high school students will be using Greater Portland Transit District’s (METRO) public transportation system this fall to get to and from school and will have the freedom to use transit for extracurricular activities, jobs and recreation.

The Transit Pass allows free and unlimited use of METRO bus routes during the academic school year, including weekends and break periods.

The partnership between METRO and Portland Public Schools provides a METRO Student Transit Pass to all high school students enrolled in Portland, Deering and Casco Bay High Schools, including students living within two miles of school, who previously weren’t eligible for transportation by district school buses. The program gives the school district greater flexibility and efficiency when it comes to the transportation of students.

“This partnership represents a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars while helping to improve our public transit system for all residents,” said METRO GM Greg Jordan. “The program will provide students and families greater transportation options and flexibility as well as teach students the value of public transit so they may be more likely to use transit as adults.”

The new Route 9 provides bus service to all three of Portland high schools, including limited additional service to North Deering neighborhoods, and bi-directional service, improving crosstown trip options.

METRO officials caution that the first few weeks following the first day of school on September 2 will be a transition period for both students and current transit riders. To accommodate heavy passenger volume, METRO is adding buses, increasing frequency and providing bus operators with special training.

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