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october, 2022

09octsunPanel Discussion: Why DART Should Be Free For All Students1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Event Type :Panel Discussion

Event Details

Join us for a panel discussion about why DART should be free for students


Public transit is free for K-12 students in several cities across the United States. Why not Dallas? Come and learn about a campaign by Sunrise Movement Dallas to make DART free-to-ride for all students K-12. The panel will discuss the campaign mission, why public transit is especially important for students, the short- and long-term benefits of increased ridership, and what you can do to support the campaign.


Public transit is free for K-12 students in several cities across the United States. Why not Dallas?

Austin’s Capital Metro recently made its free student transit program, launched as a pilot in 2018, permanent. Seattle, Boston, and Minneapolis are among the other cities that have seen the benefits of giving at least some students access to free public transit.

Riding DART makes students smart.

Early research shows that giving students free rides improves school attendance and academic performance. It saves time for families and money for schools. It gets more people to use public transit. Furthermore, it reduces inequality, giving poor students better access to the extracurricular opportunities as students from wealthier families. Outside of the classroom, where you live and whether your parents own a car shouldn’t limit your ability to see what North Texas has to offer.

Free fare is fair.

“It’s one thing to get a ticket to the Dallas Museum of Art, but if you have no way to get there, it’s like telling me I’ve got a free condo on the moon,” says Jon-Bertrell Killen, vice chair of DART’s budget and finance committee.

“It’s a matter of: Could we do better by our children in our region by just eliminating that barrier entirely?” Killen says. “And maybe helping to grow our future rider base?”

Build good habits early.

Studies show that people who pick up a “transit habit” young don’t lose it as they grow older. And there’s ample evidence about all the other good stuff that comes from boosting ridership and improving public transit. It’s a key part of fighting poverty, for one thing.

A large good for a small price.

Free transit can make a difference in the lives of a lot of students: A DART presentation identified eight public school districts, 26 public charter schools, and 107 private schools in the agency’s service area. The revenue from school and student ticket purchases adds up to between $1 to $2 million, or just 0.3% of DART’s $580 million operating budget.

How does change happen?

1. Convince at least eight DART board members to support a pilot program allowing free fare for K-12 students.
2. Convince the DART board chair to put the pilot program to a vote at a DART board meeting.
3. We succeed if a majority votes YES to the pilot program.

How can you help?

1. Come to our event at Wild Detectives!
2. Sign & share our petition!
3. Speak at a board meeting during “public comment” time in support of free fare for K-12 students at the next board meeting.
4. Email board members representing your city asking them to support free fare for K-12 students.

Learn more at

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(Sunday) 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


The Wild Detectives

314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas