All Metro high school students will ride MTA for free
New MTA Youth Program to Begin in Late August
Mayor Karl Dean today announced that high school students in Metro Schools can ride MTA buses without paying a fare as part of a new student riders’ program called StrIDe. Public school students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 are eligible for the program, which runs year round including the summer months.
“This program gives our students the freedom to access more of the educational opportunities that we have worked so hard to provide for them,” Mayor Dean said. “With a bus pass, students can connect to meaningful opportunities that will enhance their educational lives, including student internships with local businesses, dual enrollment at our community colleges and extracurricular activities.”
StrIDe is a joint partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Metro Schools, Nashville MTA and Metro Council. The new initiative will launch in late August when high school students receive their new student identification badges.
In addition to serving as an MTA bus pass, each high school student’s ID badge already serves as their school cafeteria card and library card. The StrIDe program is an additional transportation option for high school students beyond Metro Schools’ yellow bus service. Students attending charter schools, which are public schools, will be part of the StrIDe program, as well. These include LEAD Academy and KIPP Academy, which will serve high school students this fall.
“Since we launched the Academies of Nashville college and career preparation program, we’ve looked for ways to make it easier for students to choose high schools with the programs that best fit their needs and interests,” said Jesse Register, director of Metro Schools. “The StrIDe program does that and also gives students a means to get to work, internships and volunteer opportunities.”
Mayor Dean announced the initiative during his State of Metro address in May. The youth transit program was an idea that was championed in Metro’s 2010 child and youth master plan by Councilman Ronnie Steine. In its 2013 education report card, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce recommended expanded youth mobility to allow for more school choice. This pilot program was developed from these two initiatives.
“We are pleased to offer this new and exciting program,” Interim MTA CEO Ed Oliphant said. “As teenagers, these Metro students will be able to experience public transit, understand its many community benefits and become adults who appreciate its convenience and accessibility.”
Students will be able to utilize the StrIDe program as soon as they receive their new high school student IDs. The program is valid for bus rides on MTA buses in Davidson County only. The bus pass feature will be active on the cards through Sept. 15, 2015.
For more information about bus routes or schedules, call MTA Customer Care at (615) 862-5950 or visit the MTA website at NashvilleMTA.org.