Youth Opportunity Passes (YOP) are no-cost transit passes for all young San Diegans ages 24 and under. Youth Opportunity Passes are important because they are an investment in equity, opportunities for youth, and a sustainable future. Youth Opportunity Passes are also the key to creating the next generation of transit riders. Young transit riders are more likely to become adult transit riders, resulting in less traffic, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and a cleaner, healthier San Diego. Youth Opportunity Passes eliminate the unique mobility challenges youth faces, like access to mobility. Investing in youth mobility will alleviate the challenges youth face getting to schools, jobs, extracurricular activities, and other early-career opportunities.
Programs like Youth Opportunity Passes already exist with great success, in Alameda County and San Francisco. Last Year Sacramento and LA passed no-cost passes for students. Check out these articles: Sacramento and Los Angeles
Back in 2013, with major support from the San Diego Unified School District and contributions from the city and county of San Diego, ITCH won its campaign for a Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program. The pilot program served 850 high school students who put the passes to great use, participating in extracurricular activities, securing internships, and finding employment. High schools that received the passes were Hoover High School, Crawford High School, Lincoln High School, and San Diego High School. It was clear by the time the pilot program ended. Youth Opportunity Passes were an incredible investment in our future.
Next steps for YOP:
Stay in the loop by pledging support here: midcitycan.org/supportyop
San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) should invest their budget in supporting transit riders, not criminalizing them.
MTS has a large security budget that has now made the agency infamous as it issues far more tickets than other U.S. cities. MTS is launching a pilot program to offer people the option to do three to four hours of community service, instead of receiving a fine. This is the first step in decriminalizing transit and poverty but it is not enough and we need to proactively support working families.
We urge MTS to create a civil process—rather than the current criminal process—and funding no-cost transit for youth.
I look forward to working with you. Please reach out regarding any questions you might have.