FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 23, 2021
SAN DIEGO –Today, SANDAG’s 2021 Regional Plan Social Equity Working Group (SEWG) approved the Social Equity Early Action Transit Pilot Program that will address equity concerns by providing free transit passes for youth 18 and under and increase service on weeknights and weekends.
Last month, the SEWG discussed the 10 Transit Lifelines to be included in the 2021 Regional Plan and called for the creation of an Early Action Transit Pilot Program for environmental justice communities throughout the San Diego region. Among these priorities include free transit fares for youth 18 and under, 24-hour transit services along key transit lines by year 2025, and inclusion of amenities such as shelters at bus stops. This plan was presented by SANDAG staff at the SEWG’s August meeting and was approved today.
“This is a game-changer for transit in San Diego County,” said Social Equity Working Group Chair Vivian Moreno. “Providing free transit passes for youth is the single greatest investment our region can make to ensure that transit ridership grows in the future. Free youth transit passes also have an immediate benefit of connecting youth to school, work, internships and other education and career opportunities. The community has been fighting for these youth opportunity passes for years, and their persistence has paid off.”
The Working Group forwarded this recommendation to SANDAG’s Transportation Committee and the SANDAG Board of Director’s for approval. More info can be found here. The Social Equity Working Group provides community input to the 2021 Regional Plan’s goal of transforming the way people and goods move throughout the San Diego region by providing compelling alternatives to driving and helping the region meet state climate goals. Councilmember Moreno has been Chair of the SEWG for a year.