METRO's successful Summer of Fun program just got better.
At a press conference this morning, officials announced the program will now include all college students. That means all students – from kindergarten through college – can ride METRO buses and trains for free from June 1 through Sept. 1.
"Last year, METRO distributed more than 13,000 Summer of Fun fare cards to students throughout our region. Our agency works hard to provide great transit, and we're making it easy for students to get on board," said Jim Robinson, the first vice-chair of METRO's Board of Directors.
Sanjay Ramabhadran (Ram), the board member who came up with the idea of free summer rides for students, said if education is the most important thing to young people, then public transportation is a close second "because it gives access to education and opportunity. This program is about making public transportation a part of their DNA and their culture."
Several students from Westbury High School attended the press conference, testifying to the ease and convenience of riding METRO. Yelicza Mata, a ninth grader, said she rides METRO "to go everywhere I need to go – to school, the stores and to my house."
Jeremy Sanders, a senior with plans to attend Sam Houston State this fall, called the program awesome. "Having the opportunity to get something free, it will benefit a lot of us. I use METRO all the time – from home to school to work," he said.
Brandon Kucan, a senior with plans to attend HCC, rides METRO daily. "Free beats anything," he said. "It's extremely useful to me."
Linda Martinez, 15, said she plans to use her free rides to hunt for a summer job or volunteer position.
Ed Bell, marketing coordinator at the University of Houston, said the school is already processing dozens of student Q Cards. "The students love it. My office is getting phone calls. This morning, we processed 20 day passes and 40 Q Cards. We advertise, we have a blog, but when the students on campus talk among themselves, the momentum just builds up. We see an abundance of new riders during orientation."
Students who already have a Student METRO Q® Fare Card are good to go. Starting June 1, tap and all rides are free until Sept. 1. Students who need a card can apply online, by mail or in person at one of our RideStores at 1900 Main St. or 1001 Travis St. At the end of the summer, the Student METRO Q® Fare Cards automatically revert to a discounted card, allowing students to ride for half price.
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