November 5, 2021
PHOENIX — The Phoenix Public Transit Department is distributing free transit passes for people in need and it's proving to be a huge help to underserved communities.
Funding for the program totals $1 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
The Phoenix City Council approved 30 local organizations to distribute the passes to the people that need them the most.
“These are organizations that the City Council has worked with in the past. We’ve also done research to see what organizations are already working with the communities that are most in need,” said Brenda Yanez, spokesperson for Phoenix Public Transit.
Rodney Smith got his free transit pass through the Black Owned Business Alliance church. He’s a veteran and says it's a huge help.
“I'm able to go to my doctor's appointments as needed. When I have an interview, a job interview, or what have you, I'm able to utilize the bus pass,” Smith said.
Signing up is easy, Yanez said. Simply go to this site here. Yanez says there are still plenty of passes available.
“Click on the survey and let us know what you're using it for," Yanez said.
Survey results thus far show people are using the passes mostly for grocery shopping, medical appointments, and work, according to Yanez.
ABC15 caught up with Jennifer at the bus stop, who had not heard of the free pass program but said she could really use it to get to work.
“I have to ride three different buses and the rail just to get here," she said
Yanez says the passes are good for both buses and light rail but do not apply to the "Rapid" bus service.
"We are offering them to these organizations until the money runs out, until the program sunsets,” she said.