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Mid-City CAN Blog

Rally supports bus passes for high school students

 

City Heights resident leaders and Mid-City CAN members rally April 12 at Hoover High School to support the Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass program, which is designed to give a thousand students from four schools no-cost transit passes.  Mid-City CAN photo

City Heights resident leaders and Mid-City CAN members
rally April 12 at Hoover High School to support the Youth
Opportunity (bus) Pass program, which is designed to give a
thousand students from four schools no-cost transit passes.
Mid-City CAN photo

Being on time to school.

Finding new jobs.

Participating in more extracurricular activities.

Students who received the no-cost Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass report these and other benefits.

On April 12, more than 30 Mid-City CAN members and City Heights residents rallied on El Cajon Boulevard and discussed continuing the pass at a meeting at Hoover High School.

The program's goals are to provide a thousand students at Crawford, Hoover, Lincoln and San Diego high schools with free transit passes for the year. It has been rolling out since October.

"It seemed to me something that is very important for the security of my son and for my economic wellbeing," said Adela Rothe at the meeting in Spanish. Rothe's son attends Hoover High School.

Erik Sullivan, Hoover's interim vice-principal, said he hopes students use the passes to explore their city.

"The main change I've seen through the bus pass program is that more kids are coming to school on time," he said. "Also they're trying to find a job now that they have transportation."

William T. Oswald, associate executive director of research and evaluation for the Global Action Research Center, authored the report, released in early April, on the passes. The first 635 surveys from bus pass recipients are the basis of the preliminary report.

Surveys focused on school attendance, safety, extracurricular and job opportunities and public transit ridership.

Almost half of the respondents reported being "almost hit by a car while walking, biking, skateboarding, etc," according to the surveys.

About a quarter of the students reported witnessing a crime while walking home. About 10 percent of students said they were a victim of sexual harassment and/or bullying while walking. About 4 percent of students reported experiencing or witnessing these same things while riding the bus during that time.

More than 70 percent of students agreed that a bus pass would allow them to look for a job outside of their neighborhood.

For school administrators, parents and students at the April 12 Mid-City CAN meeting, these findings reinforced what they are witnessing with the program.

And students like Hoover's Kay'La Bowden are already taking advantage of the opportunity.

"I'm in [Associated Student Body] —I'm treasurer—and it helps me get to my events," she said.

table
 Source: Youth Opportunity (Bus) Pass evaluation pre-bus pass baseline report

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