Long Beach to offer K-12, community college students free bus rides

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A Long Beach Transit bus is seen in a photo posted to the agency's Facebook page in June 2018.

A Long Beach Transit bus is seen in a photo posted to the agency’s Facebook page in June 2018.

All K-12 and community college students in Long Beach will soon be able to ride the bus for free, city officials announced this week.

The Long Beach Transit Board of Directors voted Tuesday to adopt the “LBT GoPass,” an initiative to provide bus transportation to students.

“We’ve taken our first steps toward free and accessible public transit for all,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a tweet. “We need to move towards a free system that encourages mobility.”

The mayor added that the city is working to expand this program to Cal State University Long Beach students.

While the Long Beach Transit board already approved the program, it has not yet been implemented by the Long Beach Unified School District, nor Long Beach Community College. Formal implementation is expected to take about 60 to 90 days.

The program will be open to students from participating schools only, and students must get a Long Beach Transit GoPass TAP card to ride the system.

Existing student customers should continue using their student TAP cards or cash fare to ride on the transit system until the program is implemented and until they receive a new GoPass TAP card from their school, officials said.

As information becomes available, students can visit ridelbt.com/students for program updates.

Also this week, Long Beach City College announced it would allow homeless students to sleep in their vehicles at a secure on-campus parking structure overnight. The pilot “Safe Parking Program” is the only known program of its kind in the region at a community college, and is meant to help unhoused students at the college.

Participating students would also get help from college staff to find more long-term, stable housing, according to LBCC.

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