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Mid-City CAN Blog

Students talk about benefits of bus pass program

Elizabeth Segura, 17, told the Metropolitan Transit System board that she feels safer with the bus pass than she did when she had to walk home alone. Dallas Murphy, 17, (in white) said the pass gave her opportunities to tutor more. Photo by Adam Ward
Elizabeth Segura, 17, told the Metropolitan Transit System board that she feels safer with the bus pass than she did when she had to walk home alone. Dallas Murphy, 17, (in white) said the pass gave her opportunities to tutor more.
Photo by Adam Ward

Jobs, safety, studying and volunteer work are some of the benefits students got from the Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass. It is a free pass for hundreds of students at Crawford, Hoover, Lincoln and San Diego high schools. Advocates spoke about the program at a Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors meeting about the agency's budget on June 19.

Dallas Murphy, 17, will be a senior at San Diego High School and uses the bus pass to get to school and to get to her tutoring appointments.

"The bus pass has not only helped me financially, it also gave me the opportunity to stay after school and catch up on work," she said. "It also helped me ... do community service."

She was one of about a dozen Mid-City CAN transportation advocates that attended the meeting to talk about the pilot program and push for a lower pass cost from MTS.

Speakers also highlighted results from an interim report by the Global Action Research Center, which compiled data from a survey of 164 students at the four schools. The report noted an increase in ridership, students who often or always took the bus alone more than doubled - from 25 to 54 percent.

Jesus Duque, 17, will be a senior at San Diego High School. He said the Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass helped him find work. Photo by Adam Ward
Jesus Duque, 17, will be a senior at San Diego High School. He said the Youth Opportunity (bus) Pass helped him find work.
Photo by Adam Ward

Students using the passes also reported a decrease in the amount of crime they witnessed, from 25 to 7 percent.

Those findings were reflected in students' comments.

Elizabeth Segura, 17, will be a senior at San Diego High School and the pass is critical for her.

"It is way safer than walking," she said.

Before the pass, walking was often her only option.

"We don't have a car in the family," she said. "I'm able to stay after school whenever I need help."

Alondra Zepeda, 16, also will be a senior at San Diego High School and uses the pass to participate in student government, no longer has to worry about walking home late.

"I can get around by myself," she said. "I can also go to the library and volunteer there anytime I want."

Jesus Duque, 17, will be a senior at San Diego High School and uses the pass to help support his family.

"It helped me a lot to get to interviews and jobs," he said.

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