Jun 22, 2022
Skagit Transit is pleased to announce a new Youth Ride Free Program that starts June 20, 2022. It offers free bus rides to all youth ages 18 and under on an ongoing basis throughout Skagit County. This program can help youth to get to work, to educational programs, to the libraries and museums and more.
Washington State transit agencies that implement zero-fare polices for youth, ages 0-18 by October 1 2022, will receive state grants to help fund the program from a state legislature package approved in March. The Skagit Transit Board of directors approved the new Youth zero fare program which applies to Skagit Transit’s fixed route and paratransit services.
Skagit Transit will roll out a transition program for free youth rides where youth just tell the bus operator their age on boarding a bus and ride effective June 20th.
Starting in August, youth age 15 and older will need to use Skagit Transit’s electronic fare system to board the bus. The system is called Umo and is free to use. Youth can download the free Umo mobility smartphone app or pick-up a free Umo Youth card at the Skagit Station customer service office, or mail in proof of age with a request for a card to Skagit Transit. Youth age 14 and under can continue to board a fixed route bus at will, but are strongly encouraged to use the Umo system. Please note that children under 8 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Participating agencies, such as Community Action Skagit and many local schools, will also make the Umo Youth cards available. Umo cards are free and are available at transit centers in Mt Vernon or Bellingham. Paratransit youth call at least 24 hours in advance for these rides.
By eliminating the fare, we hope more young riders will take advantage of accessing many area opportunities. This will take cars off local roads reducing traffic congestion and improve air quality. It reduces the cost of fuel for a family’s budget as well.
Dale O’Brien Skagit Transit Executive Director said “We at Skagit Transit see a lot of value in youth riding for free. We believe that more young people will discover how convenient public transit can be and will ride for years to come with rides being so accessible.”
Helpful transit features include:
- Families wanting more information can contact Skagit Transit Customer Service at 360-757-4433, Monday thru Friday 8:00am- 4:30pm for assistance. They can also visit the Skagit Station Customer Service office 8:30am-11:30am and 12:30pm-4:00pm at 105 Kincaid St in Mount Vernon.
- Use the Skagit Transit website https://strweb.skagittransit.org/ for real-time bus details and to track your bus on the live map
- Real-time bus arrival times signs are at Skagit Station in Mount Vernon and Chuckanut Park and Ride in Burlington
- The UMO Mobility app includes features such as real time bus arrival info and planning your trip
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