Your tax dollars are helping Topeka kids get to class

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Local students are getting to class on time and gaining independence.

High school students enrolled in any USD 501 school now have access to free Topeka Metro bus passes. The result of a July partnership between the transit authority and the school district.

USD 501 paid $400,000 for the passes. The purchase is a direct result of tax payer dollars.

Freshman Brittney Auten told KSNT News having easy access to the bus has made life easier for her family.

“You don’t have to spend as much money on it and it gets me out of the house more.”

Auten said riding the bus has given her a sense of independence and a place to collect her thoughts.

When the transit authority first discussed the deal with the district, both parties hoped the passes would close attendance barriers.

Topeka Metro General Manager, Susan Duffy said in a press release, “If a student has a vehicle, and it breaks down or the student finds themselves without a vehicle, riding Topeka Metro is an option for them to still have transportation to school.”

So far this year, the district said they’ve seen a 90% attendance rate across their core high school campuses. Communications Director, Misty Kruger couldn’t confirm whether the rate is a result of the bus passes.

Passes are now being offered to middle school students as needs are determined.

High school students can obtain passes in their school’s front office.

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