June 1, 2016
The MBTA's Fiscal and Management Control Board will be deciding the future of our Youth Pass on Monday, June 6. We need your support to make sure the program becomes permanently accessible for youth in our region!
Data from the first year of our pilot program shows what young people have been saying all along: Affordable public transportation dramatically increases access to education, work, healthcare and other activities. Participants ages 19 to 21 rode the MBTA two-thirds more with a Youth Pass, while trips by out-of-school youth ages 18 and under doubled.
These extra trips were primarily made during off-peak hours (not during rush hour), which means unused seats are getting filled without any strain on service. During the school year, the most frequent destination for participants was class, followed by work. In the summer, the number one use of the pass was to get to work, followed by errands, school, extracurricular activities like volunteering, family responsibilities and more.
Further, the program was proven affordable and effective: The pilot results show that the costs to the T are much less than anticipated and that our MBTA-city partnerships are successful at distributing the passes. Participating cities are supportive (see comments from Boston, Chelsea and Malden) and despite some concern, the program experienced no instances of fraud.