Students can ride into the new school year for FREE with RydeFreeRT

August 3, 2023 SacRT News

Students can ride into the new school year for FREE with RydeFreeRT. Photo of a student with backpack and image of rydefreert card.

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) is reminding students and families that with the RydeFreeRT program, students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade can ride the entire SacRT transit network for free. The program includes SacRT buses, light rail and SmaRT Ride on-demand microtransit services.

The RydeFreeRT program is available for any youth that live or go to school within SacRT’s service area, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and parts of Sacramento County. Approximately 265,000 students, home-schooled students, and foster and homeless youth are all eligible.

The RydeFreeRT program has helped boost student ridership, which now accounts for nearly 25 percent of all SacRT bus and light rail rides over the last year. In fact, student ridership carried nearly 3.4 million youth in FY 2023, double what it was in 2019 pre-pandemic.

"We understand that the investment we are making in our youth today will yield immeasurable results for the future by not only introducing a new generation of riders to transit, we are also connecting them to education and employment opportunities," said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. "The ridership growth with our students has been inspiring to see coming out of the pandemic and hope the long-term impact leads to economic growth for our region."

"We are so excited to be entering year five of our industry leading RydeFreeRT program,” said SacRT Board Chair Patrick Kennedy. “With youth ridership now double pre-pandemic levels, the program continues to be a model for ridership rebuilding.”

"Sacramento County is home to more than 265,000 students and we have seen firsthand the positive impact the RydeFreeRT program has had on our community,” said Bina Lefkovitz, President of the Board of Sacramento County Office of Education. “The program is reducing absenteeism, connecting students to school and extracurricular activities, eliminating congestion from school pick-up lines, and building riders for life.”

New RydeFreeRT cards for the 2023-2024 school year are distributed by schools and have a valid date from June 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. Students that still need a RydeFreeRT card can visit SacRT's Customer Service and Sales Center located at 1225 R Street (adjacent to the 13th Street Light Rail Station) or Sacramento Public Libraries.

Learn more about the RydeFreeRT program at