Youth 18 and under can ride any Ben-Franklin Transit service for free until end of November
TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Starting this week, children ages 18 and under can now ride any Ben-Franklin Transit (BFT) service for free through the end of November.
Youth are able to receive a free pass courtesy of a six month trial program approved by the BFT’s board.
This comes after state legislators signed off on “the new “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package – a $17 billion, 16-year transportation package with $3 billion designated for public transit. In order to be eligible for maximum funding, the bill requires all transit agencies to adopt a fare-free policy for youth aged 18 years and under,” a news release said.
Kids with a free pass are eligible to ride on any service, including BFT Connect and Dial-A-Ride.
“Our board recognizes the importance of this Youth Ride Free program in making transportation accessible to all youth and in eliminating barriers to education, after school activities; even employment,” explained Chairman Will McKay.
Officials said this program will be helpful not only as gas prices continue to rise but as school lets out for the summer.
“It’s not just going to help the kids, it’s also going to help all the families and working parents who cannot always take time to go take their kids places,” said Mindy Miley, a senior marketing and communications specialist with BFT. “Every time they get onto a bus… they show that and they’re good to go.”
Miley said BFT officials have already hand delivered over 6,000 passes to 45 area high schools and community partners.
They’ve also received thousands of online orders and continue receiving daily requests.
“There is a definite need for the youth to ride free in our community,” Miley said. “This is really going to help a lot of families in our area.”
Ordering a pass is easy — you just go online to BFT’s website here. Each child only needs one pass for the six months and you can order up to six at a time.
To order a free youth pass, click here.
You can also call BFT Customer Service at (509)-735-5100 or go in person at any of the Community Ticket Outlets listed on the website.