Free city bus rides available to School District of Janesville students

Free bus rides are available to students in the Janesville School District with their student ID.
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 4:22 AM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - The School District of Janesville (SDJ) and the Janesville Transit System have partnered to provide free bus rides to students in the district.

The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will allow all SDJ middle and high school students with a student ID free access to the JTS bus system to get to and from school, work, the library and other local businesses.

Students will be required to show their student ID as they board the bus to take advantage of this opportunity.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, SDJ students will be able to ride the JTS buses at any time for free by identifying themselves as a student in the School District of Janesville.

“We’re excited about trying to reduce the barriers that might exist for students to get to school and provide opportunities for them to help support our community,” Superintendent Mark Holzman said.

The district says this opportunity will bring attendance numbers back up. Since the pandemic, Janesville schools have seen a decrease in attendance numbers.

“We wanted to make sure that everybody had a free opportunity to get to school,” Holzman added.

The district says this replaces the discounted semester bus pass and reduced-price token system that had been in place in prior years.

In addition to the regular JTS bus routes, the MOU allows students to ride the Beloit/Janesville Express (BJE) and bus routes that cover Blackhawk Technical College.

“It’s extremely convenient,” Janesville resident Brent Meicher said. “I commend Janesville School District and the JTS for doing this so kids can actually get to school and still get the education that they need.”

Meicher’s 14-year-old son started 9th grade at Janesville Parker High School this week and took the JTS bus to school Friday.

“It’s a way to let him spread his wings and be able to be a little bit more independent so that way he can show responsibility that he can handle the bus and get to and from school,” he said.

While some middle and high school students might not have their student ID cards right away, they can still take advantage of the free-ride program by showing their student ID from the last school year or by telling the bus driver which school they attend. Beginning Oct. 1, 2023, they will need to show their current student ID in order to ride at no charge.

This MOU is primarily designed for middle and high school students, although some elementary students might be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

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