Chatham Area Transit has announced a new benefit for students in Chatham County – passes that will allow them to ride CAT buses on all routes for free. A press conference to announce the Student Zero-Fare Pilot Program was held on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. The program is open to all K-12, college and university students in Chatham County.
The Student Zero-Fare passes are good for all fixed route and paratransit services. All a K-12 student needs to do is show the bus operator/driver their signed CAT Student Bus Pass. That pass can be downloaded and printed after signing up via the CAT website at www.catchacat.org/studentfare. Students may also present the pass on their mobile device.
The program is currently slated to launch on January 29th and run through the Spring semester until May 31, 2024. Registration for the bus passes began on January 17th.
The program is not designed to take the place of school transportation. Chatham Area Transit officials say the objectives of the Student Zero Fare Pilot Program are multifaceted. They include:
• Eliminate financial barriers that deter students from utilizing public transportation
• To increase ridership for CAT's fixed route service
• To educate the next generation about public transit
• To promote confident lifelong public transit riders