TAMPA — Middle and high school students can ride the buses in Hillsborough County for free between March 1 and June 10.
The Hillsborough County School Board approved the agreement with the Hillsborough County Commission and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) at the school board's meeting on Tuesday.
The partnership is designed to encourage more students to take advantage of public transportation and get in the habit of using transit instead of driving.
Rides will be free on any HART Local, Limited Express, MetroRapid, In-Towner or HARTFlex bus to any middle or high school student 18 years old or under who can produce a school identification card.
Transit officials will collect data that they'll use for future planning. The schools, for their part, will conduct educational campaigns to teach students how to ride safely.
"We're going to learn some things from this," said Cindy Stuart, who's a member of both the school board and the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization. "We're going to hopefully increase ridership and educate kids on how to use transit in this county. "