This is a fantastic idea. I actually can’t believe that students had to pay for buses in the first place. Having grown up in a considerably smaller city than Portland I rode a yellow school bus in elementary and middle school – and then drove in high school. We didn’t have bus service for high school – and city bus service was relatively sparse, so nearly every upperclassman had a car… lots of beaters, but we almost all had cars. But those freshman and sophomore years were tough – you had to rely on older siblings or friends to drive you places. And since your high school friend base now spread much farther apart then when you were younger – it was much harder to hang out with them after school or in the summer. In a city with public transportation as good as Portland – allowing students to use it is a no brainer. Plus it frees up parents from having to play chauffeur constantly and gives the kids more freedom to get after school jobs, do extra curricular activities or just hang out with their friends who may not live near by.
Good work Tri-Met!