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Tulsa High Schoolers Can Ride Transit Buses For Free

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Come Aug. 1, any Tulsa Public Schools high school student will be able to ride Tulsa Transit buses for free.  

TPS and Tulsa Transit are teaming up for the second year and they're expanding their services for students. 

This was just a pilot program last school year, but TPS students rode on the city buses more than 69,000 times.  

The district and Tulsa Transit have made some enhancements to make it easier and better.

Beginning next month, all Tulsa high school students need is their ID and some street smarts and they can take on the city.

"It's just an outstanding gift from the Tulsa Transit Authority," Michelle Butler said.

"It gives them an option other than, 'I'm going to miss a whole day of school and stay home," Butler said.

Which for some teens is a reality: no car, no ride, missed the bus.

"Sometimes they have to make that choice, unfortunately. And now that they have this option, they don't have to make that choice," Butler said.

Others have to support their families.

"We also have students that need to work. They need to work to help their families," said Debbie Ruggles.

"It's absolutely a necessity when they want to leave school and go to work," Butler said.

Now they can.

Monday through Sunday.

Any bus, any time.

"They can take advantage of the breakfast program, additional tutoring time," Butler said.

TPS also launched a mobile-friendly site to help students navigate.

The site can be found at www.tulsaschools.org/TPSRides.

"All they have to do is pick their high school," Blaine Young said.

Fill in their address and they can see what routes they can take and what bus number they need to watch for.

"And of course they ride the whole system for free, so it's just whatever works best for them," Young said.

Of the thousands of rides students took last year, there were no reports of misbehavior.  

"They don't want to jeopardize their ability to get the places they want to be," Butler said.

Showing that taking public transit to get to school and work is an option for families in Tulsa. 

Some teachers are even going to use Tulsa Transit to take students on local fields trips, saving the district money.

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