The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced a pilot, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families, YouthForce NOLA, and RIDE New Orleans, for students from The Living School to use public transit as their primary mode of transportation to and from school.
“The RTA Board of Commissioners is proud of our pilot program with the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families, YouthForce NOLA, RIDE New Orleans and The Living School,” said Mark Raymond Jr., RTA Board chair. “By creating partnerships that positively impact our riders, we are teaching the next generation the importance of transit and the power of equity in mobility.”
The goal of the pilot is to help younger people learn transit with close to 75% of the school’s students participating, many of whom will be using RTA as first-time riders.
“The City of New Orleans is excited to partner with Living School, RTA and others to launch this innovative pilot program and increase transit access for Living School students,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This initiative aligns with the call to action in the citywide Youth Master Plan published by my Office of Youth and Families last year, in partnership with the Children and Youth Planning Board. The plan focuses on expanding affordable transit access for young people so that they can get connected to school, work and recreational opportunities. My administration remains committed to improving our public transit system, and we hope this pilot program can serve as a first step and model for others to partner and expand transit access for our students.”
Each student participating was provided with a 31-day youth pass. Students participating in the pilot will have unlimited access to all RTA buses, streetcars, and ferries for the 2022-2023 school year, assisting them in getting to school and extracurricular activities. Beginning October 1, students participating in the pilot will be able to use their student IDs to ride the system.
“RTA’s commitment to equity and providing safe reliable transit services shines through in partnerships such as this,” said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “We are committed to continuing programs that afford students the ability to learn and ride transit, presenting them opportunities to further their interests and options for internships, jobs, and other extracurricular activities.”
The RTA introduced youth fares in July 2021. In addition, the agency also introduced senior fares and reduced the cost of the monthly pass from $55 to $45.