The Gateway Go Youth Transit Program, which lets many of the city’s young residents ride MetroBus and MetroLink at no cost, is being expanded thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act.
The city and MetroTransit are using $250,000 of the funds provided by the federal program set up by President Joe Biden. Gateway Go is giving free transportation to many St. Louisans ages 13-25 through the rest of 2022, helping them get to school, work and other important activities.
“An investment in our youth is an investment in our future,” Community Development Agency Director Justin Jackson said. “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.”
Charles Stewart, executive director of Metro Transit, agreed. “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.
“This program is an amazing example of what we can accomplish when we work together,” he added.
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 to schedule times for applicants visit SLATE offices at 1520 Market Street to apply, and if eligible, receive their transit passes on the spot. Anyone younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Applicants must present proof of age and 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,” SLATE Director Fredrecka McGlown said. “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 including 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.”