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Skip Chauffeuring Duty This Summer With These Bus Deals for Kids and Teens

Nevaeh Gamble, 4, swings back and forth on the benches while waiting for the bus to arrive with her mother and sisters at Grand Central Station in St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 20, 2018.
Nevaeh Gamble, 4, swings back and forth on the benches while waiting for the bus to arrive with her mother and sisters at Grand Central Station in St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 20, 2018. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder


Shuttling teens around in the summer is no vacation.

The difficulties of chauffeuring kids to and from after-school activities pale in comparison with the logistical challenges of providing rides to summer jobs and friends’ homes during the day when you’re juggling your own work schedule and appointments.

But if your kids are old enough — and mature enough — the solution may be as easy as telling them to catch the bus. And luckily, some public transit systems across the country are easing the financial burden by offering summer bus passes for youth at lower costs.

In St. Petersburg, Florida, where The Penny Hoarder headquarters are located, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority offers a special Haul Pass program for riders 18 and under.

The pass costs $35 and gives youth unlimited bus rides on regular routes until August 31. The summer pass became effective May 15.

In comparison, it costs $35 for a regular monthly bus pass for youth. The special summer pass allows youths to ride for 3 1/2 months for the price of one month.

The summer youth pass program was first offered in 2004 and lets teens and younger children learn to travel independently on public transit, said Ashlie Handy, a spokeswoman for Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

“Haul Pass is a great way for the teens and youth in Pinellas County to safely get around during the summer,” she said. “Summer vacation is a great opportunity for teens who have not yet had an experience on public transportation to give it a try.”

Other public transportation systems around the country offer similar deals for young people to get on board with taking the bus over the summer.

Youth ages 18 and under in Escambia County, Florida, can ride Escambia County Area Transit buses for free from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Riders must fill out an application and have their parents sign off to obtain the transit system’s Summer Wheels Pass.

IndyGo, the public transportation system in Indianapolis, Indiana, has a Summer Youth Pass that’s valid from June 1 to August 31. Riders 18 and under can enjoy unlimited rides on the system’s local fixed-route service for three months for $30, the price of one month’s regular fare.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in Kansas City, Missouri, lets youth ages 6 to 18 ride for just $12 a month during June, July and August with its Summer Youth Pass. Monthly bus passes for youth are regularly $25.

In Salem, Oregon, the Cherriots public transit system offers a Summer Youth Pass for riders 18 and under. The pass allows for unlimited rides during the months of June, July and August for $40. The price of a regular 30-day youth pass is $22.50.

These are just a sampling of the public-transit programs that make it more affordable for teens and children to get around during the summer months. Check your local public transportation system to see whether there are similar programs in your area.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. When she was a teen, she used to take the bus to her summer job. Now as an adult, she still takes the bus to work.

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