15:30 PM

L.A. Metro, Metrolink, LADOT and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to Celebrate Transit Equity Day on Saturday, Feb. 4 with Free Rides on Public Transit

TED Press Conference Group Photo

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with Metrolink, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), today announced they will all offer free rides on buses, trains and other public transportation services on Transit Equity Day, Saturday, Feb. 4. Metro and Metrolink will also promote special discount fare programs that make transit more affordable for customers every day, all year long. 

The 6th Annual Transit Equity Day celebrates the birthday of Rosa Parks, a civil rights icon who, by refusing to give up her seat on a public transit bus in 1955, helped launch the civil rights movement in the United States. Transit Equity Day is now celebrated nationally as a day of action highlighting the efforts of transit providers, labor unions, and climate justice advocates to promote equity in public transportation.

“Metro is proud to join with its sister transportation agencies to honor the legacy of Rosa Parks by ensuring that our public transportation services are free for everyone on Transit Equity Day,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “By facilitating access to jobs, school, shopping, and other important destinations, we can greatly impact people’s lives and help them achieve their dreams. In the spirit of Rosa Parks’ legacy, Metro is now working to make transit more affordable and accessible every day for our most disadvantaged daily transit riders.”

Najarian is also a Metrolink board director and recently served as the board chair.

Metro will provide free rides on its bus, rail, bikeshare, and Metro Micro rideshare services on Saturday. All Metro rail station turnstiles will be unlocked, allowing unrestricted access to the rail system. On Metro Buses, bus riders will not need to TAP their fare cards at fare validators or fare boxes. 

Metro Bike Share and Metro Micro will be offering free rides that day as well. Users can redeem their Metro Bike Share 30-minute free ride by selecting ‘1-Ride’ at any Metro Bike Share kiosk, online or in the Metro Bike Share app, and use code 020423. The code may be used multiple times throughout the day. 

To redeem a free ride on Metro Micro, the agency’s on-demand rideshare service available in selected L.A. County neighborhoods, riders can simply click here to book the ride and use code 2023.

“On Transit Equity Day, we are not only reminded of transit’s unfortunate history of racism and classism, but also of what Metro must strive to be every day—safe, clean, reliable, and affordable,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Holly J. Mitchell. “I am committed to achieving a Metro system that does not put disproportionate cost burdens on our highest need populations and in creating a transit ecosystem that serves all Angelenos.”

Metrolink, one of the largest passenger rail agencies in the country, will also honor the legacy of Rosa Parks by providing free fares on Saturday. When riders arrive at a station, they simply board the train to anywhere in Metrolink’s five-county service area. 

SBCTA is sponsoring free bus and train fares for everyone boarding San Bernardino County transit providers within the county, including Metrolink, Basin Transit, Mountain Transit, Needles Area Transit, Omnitrans, and Victor Valley Transit Authority. 

Enabling Transit Equity Every Day

Metro will also enable rider enrollment in the agency’s reduced and low-income fare initiatives, including GoPass and Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) regional transit assistance programs. These programs bring fare relief and remove barriers for youth and low-income riders, two of the agency’s most economically vulnerable customers, all year long.   

This Friday and Saturday, Metro Street Teams will provide information on the agency’s reduced and low-income fare programs and supporting enrollments throughout the Metro K Line in South Los Angeles between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Street teams will also be at Los Angeles Union Station’s East Portal and the Pico Aliso L Line (Gold) Station between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transit riders interested in taking advantage of these fare relief programs are encouraged to attend these enrollment events.

Metro’s GoPass Program helps participating L.A. County students better manage the ever-increasing cost of living. A free transit pass that is good for unlimited access to Metro and other transit providers for school, extracurricular activities, work, and any other destination makes it an invaluable program for K-14 students. Participating students do not have to worry about the cost of and access to transportation, which helps them focus on their studies and improve their chances for academic success. Studies have shown that access to a free transit pass can increase student graduation rates by up to 27 percent, and in Year 1 of the GoPass program, over 90 percent of the trips were taken to and from school.

The LIFE program offers fare discounts that can be applied toward the purchase of weekly and monthly transit passes on Metro and any LIFE participating transit agencies, or 20 free rides on any one of the participating transit agencies. Riders can apply by simply self-certifying that they meet the LIFE Program income levels. New transit riders who enroll in the LIFE program will automatically receive three months (90 days) of free fares.  Metro has made the application process as easy as possible. Riders can easily enroll online at metro.net/life. Metro encourages all riders who are qualified but not yet signed up to take advance of this program.

“Transit Equity Day can turn into Transit Equity Year for everyone who takes advantage of these special fare relief programs,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda L. Solis. “Discount fares represent our best efforts to support low-income riders who depend on public transit every day.”

“Transit Equity Day is an opportunity for the country and those in the transit industry to reflect on our history and recommit to doing the hard, intentional work to drive equity in our services and our communities,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We are putting people at the center of everything we do at Metro, and fare relief is one of the principal ways we can make transit more affordable and improve equitable access to opportunity for LA County residents.”

Metrolink has everyday discounted fares for students, children, the disabled, seniors and active military. The agency also has a new low-income fare discount program that offers riders with a valid California Electronic Benefit Transfer card a 50 percent discount on any Metrolink ticket or pass. 

For commuters, Metrolink's Corporate Partners Program (CPP) enables employers to offer pre-tax transit benefits to their employees. If a rider’s company is not part of Metrolink’s CPP, it’s an easy registration process, and new accounts receive an additional 25 percent discount on tickets and passes for the first six months. Information is available on the Metrolink website at metrolinktrains.com/cpp.  

“We want Metrolink service to not only be affordable but also easily accessible, including connections to and from other transit providers,” Metrolink Board Chair and SBCTA Board Member Larry McCallon said. “That's why partnerships between Metrolink, Metro, LADOT, SBCTA and our San Bernardino County transportation operators are so important. Working together, we can ensure transit equity through seamless transportation connections throughout Southern California.”

McCallon is also the City of Highland mayor.

“In addition to celebrating Parks’ memory, Transit Equity Day gives the opportunity to focus on how public transit systems make our communities fairer,” said SBCTA Board President Art Bishop.

“Transit Equity Day, recognized on Rosa Parks' birthday, reminds us of the essential role transportation plays in people's lives and how critical it is for all residents to have safe, affordable and dignified choices to navigate their City,” said LADOT Interim General Manager Connie Llanos. “At LADOT we are building a system that directly addresses historic inequities by prioritizing investments where they are needed most with programs that include free DASH for all Angelenos on this historic day and every day.”

For video click here

For images click here.

For Facebook Live Stream click here.