Universal Student Transit Passes for LA Community Colleges

submission by SBethS

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Move LA, a project of Community Partners

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Move LA is building a broad constituency to advocate for the development of a comprehensive, multi-modal, clean and financially sound public transportation system in LA County, and for strategies to accelerate implementation and expand transit use.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


With the cost of education going up and the economic fortunes of families going down, students need a break. We’re working with LA Metro and community colleges in LA County to build support for prepaid fare-free student transit passes to: 1) make it easier and cheaper for students to get to school and jobs; 2) reduce traffic, driving and GHG emissions; 3) fill empty seats on transit and reduce the operating cost per ride; 4) encourage life-long ridership, and 5) make it easier to learn!

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):


Advocate for government agency (LA Metro) to launch a pilot project

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.


LA is building transformational transit projects—an effort in which Move LA plays a significant role—and we are interested in creating a “transit-responsive” culture where people think about transit when deciding where to live, work, shop and play. Fertile ground for this lies with college students, so we are proposing a campaign to provide students with fare-free universal transit passes that are pre-paid from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), possibly air quality programs, and a very small increase in student registration fees.

This is a win-win-win-win! Programs like this across the US have demonstrated dramatic increases in student transit ridership and significant reductions in student driving, the need for campus parking, traffic congestion, air pollution and GHG emissions. Because students can fill empty seats on transit, these transit passes would boost overall ridership and reduce the cost per rider for the transit agency. With our transit expansion, a program like this now could create transit riders for life!

We’d like all 26 transit operators in LA County to offer universal transit passes to all college and university students. But community colleges may be the best place to start because most students commute, would likely use transit and stay local after graduation. More than 400,000 students attend 21 community colleges in LA County. Many come from the poorest neighborhoods and some commute as much as 30 hours a week to several campuses to get the classes they need. 75% work at least part-time and don’t carry a full load of classes, so they don’t qualify for LA Metro’s discounted student pass, which requires fulltime status. That leaves the students with the biggest financial challenges paying full fare ($1.75/ride or $100/month).

Our project would address several LEARN metrics. By making it easier and cheaper to get to school and work, it could increase matriculation rates and the number of students who complete college in 6 years. For students who must choose between spending the little money they have on either bus fare or lunch, a transit pass could save them from getting a ticket and a big fine, which might lead to quitting school. By putting more jobs within geographic reach, it could address unemployment and under-employment. If more students walk in groups between school and transit stops, it could enhance safety. School is hard enough. Move LA believes getting to and from school shouldn’t make it harder.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We will consider our work a success if LA Metro institutes a pilot project on pre-paid, fare-free, universal, student transit passes with at least three community colleges. We will also evaluate our process of bringing students, colleges and transit agencies together to craft a pilot project that works for all of them. For example, we would expect to:
• Meet with at least five community college student body presidents
• Meet with at least five community college leadership staff
• Draw at least 150 students to the conference in January
• Hold briefings on at least two campuses (at the joint request of students and administration)
• Hold at least three meetings of a coordinating body of at least 10 people to chart strategy together
• Develop and maintain a strong working relationship with LA Metro staff
• Create a “Street Team” of 10 students at three to five campuses to use social media to increase interest in transit passes.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

2 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Ha ha you got it Mr. Wright!

by gloriaohland
6 months ago

This would be so cool like it is done in Chicago for the U-Pass

by wrightconcept
6 months ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015