VALLEY GLEN — The Los Angeles Community College District received a $1 million grant that will allow its students to ride Metro buses and trains for free, Metro officials announced Wednesday during an event at Los Angeles Valley College.
The funds were secured by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, through the Congressional Directed Funding process to extend Metro’s GoPass Program through the 2022-23 academic year for the 21 community colleges in the county.
The program allows the district’s 500,000 students to apply for free transit passes.
“Lack of transportation is one of the leading barriers for students seeking to complete their education, and that’s particularly true in large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles,” Feinstein said.
Prior to the pandemic, a quarter of students attending community college in Los Angeles used public transit to get to class, according to Metro. Half of students in the LACCD are living below the poverty line, and 68% are low-income.
“The costs of transportation should never stand between our students and opportunity” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who spoke Wednesday during the announcement event at LAVC in Valley Glen. “Our community colleges are gateways to prosperity for Angelenos in every ZIP code — and thanks to this grant from Sen. Feinstein, Metro can keep doing its part to make sure nothing keeps our students from chasing their dreams.”
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Metro officials said the goal is to double participation in the GoPass Program over the next year. Metro also partnered with Glendale Community College earlier this month to give the college’s 15,000 students access to the program.