Cedar Rapids students will soon be able to ride public transit for free

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - People taking classes in Cedar Rapids will now have a new way of getting around town as the city’s transit department teams up with area schools.

Cedar Rapids students will soon be able to ride public transit for free

Starting this school year, students in the Cedar Rapids School District, Coe College, and Kirkwood Community College will be able to ride city buses to and from classes and elsewhere at no charge.

Brad DeBrower, the Cedar Rapids Transit Manager, said despite students already having a discounted rate, some parents struggled to pay the bus fare. By making public transit available to students of all grades, it will give kids a chance to get to after school programs, sports practice and work.

The cost will be free to the students but each school will pay a rate per student, regardless of usage. Those amounts would be $50,000 for the Cedar Rapids School District, $20,000 for Kirkwood College, and $3,600 for Coe College.

“It’s not just going to be a specific time of year that the pass can be used,” DeBrower said. “This is for all bus routes at any hour that we operate so students can jump on and off anytime we need. This removes a big barrier for students to get around.”

BeBrower said students made up about 15 percent of ridership last year. He expects that percentage to be even higher this year.