If you or your kids take classes at Kirkwood, Coe, or any of the Cedar Rapids Public Schools, I have a terrific new partnership to tell you about. The City of Cedar Rapids and those schools have entered into a new agreement that will soon allow free rides for students... at any time.

Yes, when the new school year begins, public transit is free for all the students enrolled at the schools above. Each school will pay the freight, on a per-student basis, no matter how many students take advantage of the free rides. According to KCRG, the cost to the Cedar Rapids Community School District will be $50,000, Kirkwood will pay the city $20,000, while Coe College's cost is $3,600.

Cedar Rapids Transit Manager Brad DeBrower says,

This isn't just a specific time of year when school is in session. It's not just getting to and from school.  This is opened up to all bus routes and during all the hours that we operate so students can go jump on and off at anytime... It really removes what we think (is) a big barrier for students to get around.”

Students already had a discounted rate for rides and made up about 15 percent of total ridership on city buses in 2018. Thanks to this new partnership, that percentage is likely to go significantly higher.