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Rapid Transit providing week of free orientation for parents City offering third year of free transit service for youth

RAPID CITY-For the third consecutive school year, youth can ride free on the Rapid Transit System’s RapidRide program. The City is offering a free ride orientation period August 20-28 for parents to become familiar with routes and schedules by boarding any of the RapidRide buses.

Parents can ride free during this orientation period when accompanied by their school-aged child.

RapidRide recorded 117,459 youth passenger trips on its system during the 2017- 18 school season, according to City officials. The number was a 33.09 percent increase over the 2016-17 school year when the free transportation program was first implemented (88,250 youth passenger trips).

“We are encouraging parents and their children to ride together free of charge before school starts on August 29 to become familiar with our time schedules, routes and boarding locations,” said Rich Sagen, Rapid Transit System Manager.

In announcing the free youth transportation program in the summer of 2016, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender indicated the free youth transit program would provide students better access to schools, libraries, recreation and social events as well as save money for families and foster appreciation for public transportation among the City’s youth.

The ‘Youth Ride Free’ program is being promoted and advertised with three banners at the Central States Fair and four community billboards. The school district will distribute ‘Youth Ride Free’ posters and materials at local schools.

RapidRide will also have maps, material and regular ride schedules available as well as published online at rapidride.org.

Overall Rapid Transit System ridership is up 6.34 percent in 2018 (January through July) compared to 2017 (263,671 passenger trips in 2018 vs. 247,951 in 2017).

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