Free Bus Fares for K-12 Students Now Permanent Pilot program boosted ridership, benefited community

AUSTIN, Texas - Starting today, all K–12 students can ride Capital Metro services for free, as a permanent part of the agency's fare structure. 

In June, Capital Metro began a summer pilot program offering free fares for K–12 students in Central Texas and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from children and parents. The agency's board voted yesterday to make the pilot initiative permanent.

Providing affordable transportation options for students and families supports Capital Metro's goals of increasing current ridership while developing future transit participation, simplifying the customer experience and promoting equity in the region. The agency believes that access to frequent, reliable transportation is critical to solving Central Texas dual challenges of mobility and affordability.

"Free fares for K–12 students is an investment in the young people of our region. I am grateful to our board members for taking this step that allows us to serve our community even better and for the support of our partners, including AISD," said Capital Metro President & CEO Randy Clarke. 

"Together, we will continue to remove obstacles to opportunity for young people in Texas and build the customer base of tomorrow. I look forward to our continued work together."

Capital Metro worked closely with the Austin Independent School District throughout the pilot program and in making this permanent fare structure change. The agency has heard from individual parents and PTA groups throughout the district in support of the pilot, feedback that factored heavily in the decision to make it permanent.

"We are thankful for our partnership with Capital Metro," Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said. "This program ensures our students have another safe option to get to school at no cost. This decision further supports Capital Metro's dedication to the youth of Austin."

Central Texas K–12 students, with valid ID, and MetroAccess customers under 18, are able to use all Capital Metro service free of charge. Students without a valid ID, can visit Capital Metro's transit store to obtain identification. For more information on the program, please visit