TriMet proposes to reduce cost of Youth fares


Change would bring regional equity to all young people

TriMet is proposing to reduce its Youth fares to provide a lower cost ride for all young people in the tri-county region. The agency is proposing to reduce the single-ride ticket by 40 cents, from $1.65 to $1.25 and reduce the monthly pass by $2, from $30 to $28. Youth fares are for those between the ages of 7 and 17.

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane today told the board of directors that it will make it easier for families to pay for their kids to get to school, jobs and other activities.

“Making transit more affordable for all young people reduces barriers for youth and their families to using transit,” said McFarlane. “This change also provides regional equity for all young people throughout the region.”

PPS discounted fare program
All 12,600 Portland Public School District (PPS) high school students receive free transit passes for the school year under the Student Pass Program. PPS is the only school district in the metro region that does not provide yellow bus service to high school students, and is the only district that TriMet provides a discounted fare program.

For the past two years, the City of Portland, PPS and TriMet have shared the cost of the PPS Student Pass Program, which costs about $3 million. McFarlane says TriMet will reduce its contribution to the PPS in the form of reduced fare revenue of $634,000. That reduction, along with reducing the cost of the Youth fares and using $140,000 from uncommitted funds from the agency’s Low Income Mitigation fund means that the reduction in Youth fares will have no financial impact on TriMet’s budget.

In previous years, state funding covered the cost of the PPS program, but is no longer available.

Next steps
The fare change proposal requires a transit equity analysis to determine if there are any adverse effects to those who are low income or transit dependent. TriMet will hold a first reading and a public hearing on the ordinance at its May 28, 2014 meeting. Public comment is accepted through June 10, 2014 at 5 p.m. via:

Phone: 503-238-RIDE (7433)
Mail: TriMet Public Affairs
1800 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97201

If approved by the TriMet board of directors, the change would take effect on Sept. 1, 2014. The TriMet board will consider the change to the PPS Student Pass Program at its June 11, 2014 board meeting.