Youth Opportunity Passes (YOP) are for 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. Recently Sacramento and LA passed a no-cost pass 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:
MTS, our transit system is considering a 2020 measure to fund transit projects. Currently, we are looking at the MTS proposed ballot measure for 2020 to secure long term funding for YOP. Transit investments are desperately needed in our transportation system. Read more about the Elevate SD 2020 plan here. We are in a critical time to shape this measure to prioritize the needs of our communities.
MTS hosted various community forums around San Diego to ask what are the top priorities for a potential 2020 MTS ballot measure. Read reporting here. In July, the City Heights community forum took place at this we had record attendance out of all MTS forums and overwhelming support for no-cost transit passes for youth. Check out the report here.
As part of the MTS Elevate SD plan, MTS host a Community Advisory Committee that consists of 50+ organization representing non-profits and community-based organizations. Community Members are welcome to come. Next Meeting is TBD.
MTS will also be launching an online interactive survey. It has not been released but will update once that is out.
Join us to express our support for Youth Opportunity Passes, more routes, and more frequency. This measure is our chance to get revenue back to our families and invest in our youth for a cleaner and healthier San Diego.
I look forward to working with you. Please reach out regarding any questions you might have Pledge to stay in the loop at: midcitycan.org/supportyop