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Youths will soon be able to ride any public transit bus in Ventura County for free

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Ventura County Transportation Commission
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It’s part of a new pilot program offered by the county’s transit operators.

Through the Youth Ride Free program, anyone aged 18 or younger is eligible to use fixed-route and general purpose dial-a-ride services for free.

"It will allow any youth who is 18 or under to ride the bus for free, " said Claire Grasty, Director of Public Transit for Ventura County Transportation Commission.

She says it’s a way to encourage young people back to public transport after the pandemic.

"People probably haven't been taking transit for a while for a variety of reasons — not having to go to work, or not feeling comfortable. I think this will entice youth and their families to get on the bus and remove that barrier," she said.

To ride, youths simply need to board the bus. Students older than 18 who are enrolled in high school are also eligible. Riders can travel to any destination at any time, not just to get to and from school.

The program begins Sept 1.

Participating operators are Camarillo Area Transit, Gold Coast Transit District, Kanan Shuttle, Moorpark City Transit, Ojai Trolley, Simi Valley Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit, Valley Express, and VCTC Intercity Service.

The pilot Youth Ride Free program is funded by a grant obtained and administered by VCTC from California’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), a part of the state’s cap-and-trade program. LCTOP provides funds to public transportation agencies for investments in capital projects and services that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve mobility.

The Youth Ride Free program will run through 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.