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SLPS students can get free Metro passes

The Gateway Go Youth Transit Program gives 3,000 people —13-25 years old— the chance to get free rides with MetroLink and MetroBus.

ST. LOUIS — Track practice is one of the many places Juanesha Washington has to be every day.

"I live with my aunt, and if my aunt is at work I have to catch the bus to school. I have to catch the bus here. We get here around 2:30 p.m. — practice, and then (I) leave here and go to work at 6 p.m.," Washington said.

With gas reaching record-high prices, she uses public transportation to get around.

"Everybody's been complaining about gas prices, and my aunt— she hates it. Sometimes, I don't want to bother her because of that. Sometimes, I don't have money to give her (for gas)," Washington said.

Joshua Henning with St. Louis Public Schools is a part of a joint effort with the City, Metro Transit and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment known as SLATE. They're working together to make transportation easier for students like Washington.

"We were in communication with SLATE and they said they had these Gateway Go Passes that could be used," Henning said.

This program offers about 3,000 people ages 13-25 the chance to get free transportation through MetroLink and MetroBus through the rest of the year.

"We have 750 passes, and we are giving them out on a first come first serve basis," Henning said. "But if there are situations where there are unique needs, we will prioritize those needs as well."

Students can talk to their school counselors to get a pass. Other people can pre-register through the City's website.

"I know everybody doesn't have parents to take them here, take them there, but you got a bus pass. It's free. Why not use it?" Washington said.

The Gateway Go Youth Transit Program is funded through $250,000 of the American Rescue Plan Act.

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