Staff suggests continuing field trip transit passes for elementary students, extending it to high school

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Elementary school students in Barrie will continue using a field trip pass if general committee adopts a motion prepared by city staff.
The motion reads that the Barrie Transit Field Trip Pass Pilot Program be “continued to provide eligible elementary schools access to (passes) from September through June of each year.”
The motion continues that Barrie Transit launch a one-year pass pilot program “involving two local high schools to study the viability and benefits of expanding the program to eligible high schools to run from September, 2019 to June, 2020.”
In a report to committee, staff explains that during the 2018/19 school year, the pilot program “was an initiative to explore new ways of integrating services to better serve our younger rider demographic, while at the same time increasing travel training and community partner opportunities.”
Initially, the program was a partnership between Barrie Transit and the Simcoe County Student Transit Consortium, representing the region’s separate and public school boards. It involved 10 elementary schools.
Survey data from the pilot project was used to review whether or not to continue the program, reads the report.
“The participating school boards, through their transit consortia, have committed additional resources to this program, if formalized by the City. These additional resources will result in greater outreach, travel training and promotional opportunities. This is a value-driven opportunity for Barrie Transit to leverage a partnership opportunity to significantly increase awareness, integration and participation.”
Promotional opportunities included Barrie Transit working with the Barrie Public Library to “promote the use of transit services to target schools as part of the Summer Reading Program – Library Visits.”
If adopted by committee, and then council, participating schools will get three field trip passes, valid for unlimited travel for up to 30 students and five adults. The passes would be made available to schools within City boundaries, which could mean up to 41 schools participating in the program.
“To capitalize on the success of the pilot at the elementary level, Barrie Transit will work with our school board partners to explore the viability of the program at the secondary school level,” reads the report.