The expanded program will provide thousands of city youth free public transportation through MetroLink and MetroBus through the rest of 2022.
The City of St. Louis, joined by Metro Transit, announced the expansion of the Gateway Go Youth Transit Program, funded through $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. The expanded program will provide thousands of city youth free public transportation through MetroLink and MetroBus through the rest of 2022.
“An investment in our youth is an investment in our future,” said Community Development Agency Director Justin Jackson. “Through the American Rescue Plan, St. Louis is making it easier for youth to use public transit while saving money for families in the long run.”
The Gateway Go Youth Transit Program offers 3,000 City residents ages 13 – 25 the opportunity to receive free public transit through MetroLink and MetroBus through the rest of the year, connecting youth to school, work, and other important opportunities.
“This is an incredible opportunity for young people in the City of St. Louis to have free, convenient access to many destinations in the bi-state area,” said Charles Stewart, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “This program is an amazing example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”
Those interested should visit the City’s website and pre-register through the online portal. After registering, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) will follow up with individuals to schedule times for individuals to visit SLATE offices at 1520 Market Street to apply, and if eligible, receive their transit passes on the spot. Those under 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Applicants must present proof of age, proof of residence, as well as proof of income or reside in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT). Visit bit.ly/STLYouthTransit for more information.
“SLATE works hard to connect City youth to careers and training, and we’re excited to help connect them to our region’s public transit resources as well,” said SLATE Director Fredrecka McGlown. “We encourage St. Louis families to take advantage of this opportunity, and SLATE looks forward to working with our partners on this important program.”
The City is partnering with institutions like Saint Louis Public Schools and the International Institute to move cards to target populations and ensure equitable access to the program.
“The SLPS Career Technical Education team is excited to partner with the City of St. Louis and Metro Transit to help get transit passes to Saint Louis Public School students who need them,” said Josh Henning, Administrator of SLPS Learn and Earn program. “Connecting students with transit is life changing and will help them focus on their studies and their work responsibilities.”
“Gateway Go provides an opportunity for new arrivals to access employment, programming, and cultural amenities our region has to offer, allowing them to connect with their adopted home in a meaningful way.” said President and CEO of International Institute of St. Louis, Arrey Obenson, “We are excited to learn that such access is available all year round, and look forward to playing our part in assisting our new arrivals to access the unique opportunity.”
Directing nearly $500 million to St. Louis, the American Rescue Plan Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in St. Louis families, reverse decades of disinvestment in our neighborhoods, and strengthen our communities. From direct payments to help thousands of families put food on the table to basketball leagues serving hundreds of youth at our City recreation centers, Gateway Go Youth Transit Program will be another example of how the City is using ARPA to support St. Louisans. All funds must be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026.