LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Transit Authority kicked off its Rider Relief Transportation Program this month to help reduce the cost of public transportation for eligible valley residents, officials announced Friday.
Local residents can now obtain a discount off the cost of a monthly AVTA bus pass if their income level qualifies. The program, which is funded by Los Angeles Metro, promises to offer relief on the cost of public transportation to those who need it the most.
The City of Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) is the first organization to begin distributing the fare subsidy coupons to residents. Antelope Valley College intends to start providing the service to students by Aug. 1, in time for the fall semester.
AVTA plans to bring additional local agencies on board to participate in the program, including Grace Resource Center in Lancaster.
“We’re hopeful this program will help those in our community who need it the most, those struggling with a limited income,” stated Board Chair Marvin Crist.
Qualified applicants will receive a coupon booklet valid through Dec. 31, 2015. The Rider Relief coupons can be used each month when purchasing a bus pass from participating providers.
Full fare passengers may qualify for a $10 monthly coupon, while eligible reduced fare passengers may qualify for a six dollar coupon. Children over 5 years old whose parents qualify are automatically eligible to receive the Rider Relief coupons.
“The Rider Relief Transportation Program is something we’ve been looking forward to implementing for quite a while, and it’s exciting to see it finally happening,” stated AVTA Director Steve Hofbauer. “It’s bringing tax dollars back to our valley, through Metro, to benefit our residents. We are pleased that Palmdale’s South Antelope Valley Emergency Services was able to move so quickly to begin providing this service.”
SAVES is located at 1002 East Avenue Q-12 in Palmdale, and can be reached at (661)267-5300. A schedule for coupon distribution will be posted at www.cityofpalmdale.org. Antelope Valley College is located at 3041 West Avenue K in Lancaster. The college will be providing coupons to students only, starting Aug. 1. Grace Resource Center is located at 45134 Sierra Highway in Lancaster and should be distributing coupons in September.
The Rider Relief Transportation Program is administered through the FAME Assistance Corporation, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides sustainable programs and access to needed services to more than a million people annually.
“The AVTA staff has been working diligently to implement the Rider Relief Program so that it is more accessible to all residents in the community,” stated Executive Director Len Engel. “The program has been available in Los Angeles County for many years, but the north L.A. County region has had little access to agencies that distribute these coupons. AVTA is now spearheading the effort on behalf of FAME to bring local organizations on board, and the response has been terrific.”
Applicants for the program must show proof of income to determine their eligibility, which is good for one year. The maximum income levels to qualify for Rider Relief coupons are as follows:
- $29,050 or less for a household of one
- $33,200 or less for a household of two
- $37,350 or less for a household of three
- $41,500 or less for a household of four
- $44,850 or less for a household of five
- $48,150 or less for a household of six
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