New program expands mobility for Durham youth

August 31, 2018
Samone Oates-Bullock, right, presents bus passes to Dan McKinney while Ashley Schultz looks on.

Samone Oates-Bullock identified transportation as a key barrier to youth success while serving as a member of Made in Durham’s Youth Network during 2015-2017.

She returned to Made in Durham as a regional transit representative in August with a critical piece of the solution: information on GoTriangle’s new Youth GoPass program that lets youth ages 13-18 ride any regional bus for free.

Oates-Bullock and colleague Ashley Schultz, both public engagement specialists for GoTriangle, met with the Youth Network to educate members about the new regional service and sign them up for Youth GoPasses.

GoTriangle, a Made in Durham sponsor, also provided day passes for a Youth Network member who is over 19 to allow the member to more easily participate in network activities. The Youth Network is a diverse group of about 40 young people who bring the voice and perspective of Durham’s young people to the work of Made in Durham.

“Transportation is a huge barrier for young people,” said Oates-Bullock. “I was a member of the Youth Network when we first had the conversation about equity and the Youth Network, with transportation being a major barrier for a lot of members at that time in terms of getting to the meetings and participating in other opportunities. Volunteering your time or being involved in extracurriculars is very much a privilege in a lot of ways. So, finding ways to mitigate those barriers is really important.”

GoTriangle launched its Youth GoPass program Aug. 6. It allows young people ages 13-18 to ride any GoTriangle, GoDurham, GoCary and GoRaleigh bus for free. Riders 12 and under already ride free with an adult. Go Triangle is the regional transportation authority that manages transportation across Durham, Orange and Wake counties.

GoTriangle representatives have been working hard since then spreading the word across the region to educate young people on how to get and use the passes.

“The Youth Network is all about equity,” says Dan McKinney, Made in Durham’s youth engagement strategist and racial equity lead, who coordinates the Youth Network. “We want to ensure equitable access to school and work opportunities for our members and for all youth in Durham. GoTriangle’s new initiative is a major step forward in providing that access.”

Visit gotriangle.org/youthgopass to find out how to get and use a Youth GoPass.

Email info@youthgopass.com to request a Go Triangle representative to teach youth groups and teens how to ride the bus.

Contact Mike Charbonneau at (919) 485-7413 or mcharbonneau@gotriangle.org for information on all of GoTriangle’s mobility initiatives.

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