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'Off to a great start': STA offering free youth bus rides for the summer

The passes are available at Spokane Public Library branches in the city.
Spokane Transit

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Transit Authority (STA) is offering free bus rides for kids this summer and 2,500 passes have already been distributed. 

Kids can pick up the STA Summer Passes from a Spokane Public Library branch, a Spokane County Library District branch or Liberty Lake Municipal Library. The program started with 15,000 passes available.

STA Director of Communications and Customer Service Brandon Rapez-Betty said the program is off to a great start.

"If needed, we will provide more than the initial 15,000 passes," Rapez-Betty said. "We want as many kids to be able enjoy the free trips this summer as possible."

So far, the program has seen promising numbers. More than 2,500 passes have been distributed, which has led to over 4,850 free rides taken. The top distribution sites so far have been the Spokane Public Library Outreach program that delivered them to high schools, Spokane Public Library at Hillyard and the South Hill and the STA Plaza.

STA offered a list of popular destinations kids can travel to via bus rides. The list includes parks, community centers, pools, libraries and more. They also have services to popular Spokane summer events like Hoopfest, Millwood Farmer's Market and Unity in the Community.

Anyone ages six to 18 or who are enrolled in grades K-12 can pick up a pass that gives them free rides in the STA service areas. This is unlike similar programs they've done in the past. Previously, the passes have only been available to Spokane Public School students. 

The program started on June 15 and will run through Sept. 15.