A Good Idea For Youth

The Multnomah Youth Commission is working with TriMet to establish free transit passes for all students in the region in 6th-12th grades, with a goal of beginning a pilot program for students in Portland Public Schools (one district) in September of this year. They’re seeking community support in the form of letters of encouragement to Fred Hansen, General Manager of TriMet:

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS – Please mail your support letter to the Multnomah Youth Commission (not directly to TriMet). We’ll collect all of the letters and present them to Mr. Fred Hansen of TriMet. Our intent is to support, encourage and thank Mr. Hansen for his work. Your letter should be addressed to Mr. Hansen (as shown in the sample below) – but please actually mail it to the MYC at the following address as soon as you’re able:

Multnomah Youth Commission
c/o Youth Engagement Program
1221 SW 4th Ave., Suite 340
Portland, OR 97204

Or email it to multnomahyouth@gmail.com

Thank you from the MYC Co-chairs Jack MacNichol (Grant HS) and alice Kersting (Portland State University) and MYC YouthPass Committee Co-chairs Sarah Meyerowitz (Wilson HS) and Katherine Westmoreland (David Douglas HS). If you have questions, please call Nate at 503-823-4027.

Key points for letters of support:

  • Thank Mr. Hansen for working with top education and government leaders, and youth from the Multnomah Youth Commission, on a project to explore free access to public transportation for local youth.
  • Following national models, a free youth pass program could address many positive outcomes in our community, including: reducing car traffic around schools; building current and future ridership for TriMet; reducing carbon emissions; reducing barriers to youth participation in school, enrichment opportunities and employment; and increasing school districts’ flexibility for academic programming. PLEASE ADDRESS THE SPECIFIC WAYS THAT FREE YOUTH TRANSIT COULD BENEFIT YOUR ORGANIZATION & THOSE YOU WORK WITH.
  • Thank Mr. Hansen for pursuing the available funding for free youth transportation through the Oregon Department of Energy’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program. The State of Oregon’s BETC program currently funds free public transportation for youth in Lane County (http://www.ltd.org) – and we’re excited to bring the same benefits to our community!
  • Recognize TriMet’s need to establish a program that is sustainable and manageable. Encourage Mr. Hansen to continue working toward a September 2008 start date for a pilot program to offer free passes to all 6th – 12th grade students in the Portland Public School district, with the intention to evaluate program success and expand the program throughout the city and county in the near future. (Pilot would serve approximately 25,000 youth in the ‘08-‘09 school year – a number comparable to the successful Lane County program.)

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