MOLINE, Ill. — K-12 students in the Moline, Rock Island-Milan and United Township districts will be able to ride to and from school for free on MetroLINK buses for the upcoming school year.
The program waiving student bus fares was launched in 2021 to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and student ridership increased 25% as a result, according to MetroLINK. Approximately 2,000 trips were taken by students each day on Metro's bus system in 2021.
“The ridership numbers clearly show that affordable transportation is a real need for families in our community,” Manager of Administration at Metro Jennifer Hirsch said in a statement. “Continuing to offer this program in partnership with our school districts will allow all students to have affordable access to and from school on any Metro route serving their neighborhood.”
The program is available to all K-12 students regardless of income, but it is only available on school days for trips to and from school.
"It puts parents at ease to know that they can depend on reliable, safe transportation to school and home, and that in turn helps our students focus on learning in the classroom,” Rock Island-Milan School District 41 Superintendent Dr. Reginald Lawrence said in a statement.
To access the discount, high schoolers must show their school ID when boarding. Elementary and middle school students do not need to show ID to qualify.
"This is an excellent example of how this community comes together when the need arises,” Moline-Coal Valley School District Superintendent Dr. Rachel Savage said in a statement.