Rapid Ride giving free riding options for Rapid City students

‘Youth Ride Free’ transit program is giving parent’s a free ride too just in time for the school year.
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Rapid Ride has been a Rapid City public transportation staple since 1992 with six different fixed routes around the city core. But, it’s only been used as a school bus for the past five years.

Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender began the program in 2016 so the community’s youth were able to travel around the city using more options than a school bus could provide.

“He wanted to open up an opportunity to not only just get back and forth to school but also stay after school and do the after school recreational sports, clubs, those types of things, and then also give them availability to go to the library, go to jobs, go wherever they actually need to go throughout town without having to fully rely on having a vehicle,” said Megan Gould, transit division manager of Rapid Transit.

The Rapid Transit System is funded through the federal transit administration and local city government.

Allowing children 18 years and younger can ride for free year-round. However, it’s an affordable mode of transportation for adults, too. The fares for adults are $1.50 per trip and. For people, 60 years and older, disabled, or Medicare cardholders the cash price for a ride is $0.75.

“It provides those who can’t afford transportation a way to get to and from jobs, to get to and from school, entertainment, recreation, pretty much anywhere they need within our city core,” said Gould.

Rapid Ride’s routes include the Borglum Route, Washington Route, Lincoln Route, Roosevelt Route, Jefferson Route, and the Coolidge Route.

Parents are allowed to ride free this week in order to help their children get comfortable with the routes before the school year stops. And, because of COVID, the bus rides will have one more rule.

“Anybody that rides the bus right now is required to wear a mask, so all the youth will have to have a mask even though it’s not mandated by the school district, they will have to have one on our buses,” said Gould.

Fewer children rode the bus during the pandemic, but kids have been using Rapid Ride throughout the summer and are encouraged to continue using the system.

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