The RydeFreeRT program offers fare-free transit for youth and students in grades TK through 12. With RydeFreeRT, youth can ride the entire SacRT transit network, including SacRT buses, light rail, and SmaRT Ride on-demand microtransit service for FREE!. RydeFreeRT is available all day, any day of the week, all year during regular SacRT service hours.
A study released by the University of Texas, which evaluated SacRT RydeFreeRT fare-free transit for youth program, found the innovative program achieved multiple key goals to increase transit ridership and school attendance. View the study here.
New cards for the 2023-2024 school year are distributed by schools. The new card is valid from June 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 for grades TK through 12th.
Youth who are experiencing homelessness or taking part in foster programs are also allowed to participate in the program, regardless of current residence or school address.
Students and youth that do not have a RydeFreeRT card, can visit SacRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center located at 1225 R Street (adjacent to the 13th Street Light Rail Station) or Sacramento County Public Libraries.
Note: The RydeFreeRT program does not apply to those over 18 years old that are pursuing their GED.
The RydeFreeRT program is the result of Sacramento City Councilmember Jay Schenirer’s efforts to combat chronic absenteeism in schools and offer youth more options for transportation to and from activities when they are not in school. The City of Sacramento will provide SacRT with with funding to help cover revenue losses for the year-long program. Additional funding will come from other cities and school districts participating in the program.
The RydeFreeRT program hopes to create lifelong public transit riders by instilling the habit at a young age. More transit riders could lead to improved quality of life for all — more time to relax and less time in traffic— as well as have a positive impact on the environment in the long run.