County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to expand a free public transit ridership program for residents ages 18 to 24.
The resolution directs the county chief administrative officer, Health and Human Services Agency and Land Use and Environment Group to work with agencies such as the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to find additional money for ridership expansion.
Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas sponsored the resolution. In a statement, Vargas said the youth passes are more than just a free ride.
“They bring security and stability to the lives of students and youth and remove barriers so they can have access to education, work and recreational activities that they would not have otherwise,” said Vargas, board chair.
Vargas, who mentioned the youth ridership program in her State of the County speech last week, said it’s important the county does everything it can to remove barriers for underserved communities.
The Youth Opportunity Pass currently allows young people 18 and under to ride public transit free of charge.
Last year, supervisors approved $1.5 million for the pilot ridership program, while the San Diego Association of Governments provide $6.13 million.
Proposed more than 10 years ago by advocacy group Mid-City CAN and community members, the youth ridership pilot program is scheduled to end in July, according to the county.
More information about the Youth Opportunity Pass and where to pick up a free youth PRONTO card is at www.sandag.org.
City News Service contributed to this article.