Beginning in September, Valley residents ages 18 and under will be able to ride on Snoqualmie Valley Transit (SVT) shuttles at no cost, according to the agency.
Snoqualmie Valley Transit (SVT) had formerly only offered free youth transit during the summer months as part of its Summer Freedom Programs, but will now extend free rides to youth on a year-round basis.
Valley Shuttle — SVT’s main line that connects the Valley to the larger King County Metro bus system — has always been free and run on donations. Previously, other SVT offerings such as its door-to-door service, looped routes and other shuttle routes have cost $1 per ride.
“We are really excited that now it won’t just be ‘Summer Freedom’ and will be more like ‘Forever Freedom’ since the buses will be free for 18 and under all year,” SVT Executive Director Amy Biggs said in a press release.
SVT provided over 1,200 free rides to youth in the summer of 2019 as part of its Summer Freedom program, a number they say has grown each year. Ridership for youth, they said, always kicks up in the summer months.
The move follows a similar trend countywide, as the King County Council unanimously approved free transit on all buses, water taxis and streetcars run by King County Metro back in July.
Biggs said the free fares would result in about $300 a month in lost revenue, but acknowledged the benefit to community and working parents. She also reiterated that no SVT bus will charge riders connecting to the larger regional bus network.