RICHLAND, Wash. —

Ben Franklin Transit is implementing a six-month trial “Youth Ride Free” program starting June 1, offering free services to those younger than 18. Free Youth Passes will be available online, at any BFT Community Ticket Outlet and through the BFT Customer Service number, 5009-735-5100.

The program ends November 30. 

“Our board recognizes the importance of this Youth Ride Free program in making transportation accessible to all youth and eliminating barriers to education, after school activities; even employment,” said Will McKay, Chairman of the board. 

Ben Franklin Transit has spent several months working on a comprehensive fare study, according to Interim GM Ed Frost. It plans to adopt new policies based on the study in September 2022. 

As further motivation, the Move Ahead Washington transportation package was passed in the Washington legislature in March. The bill gives the most funding to agencies with fare-free youth policies.