New OCTA program to offer free bus rides for Orange County youth

A new initiative approved last week by the Orange County Transportation Authority — or OCTA — Board of Directors will soon allow all passengers ages 18 and under to ride the bus for free.

As part of a six-month promotional program funded by a state grant, the “Youth Ride Free pass” will allow OC youth to ride any OCTA fixed-route bus in Orange County at no cost. The pass program is scheduled to begin in September and run through the end of Feb. 2022, at which time the program will be reevaluated.

Student on bus

Originally intended for youth up to 13 years old, OCTA board members expanded the pass to reach high-school-age teens, according to an OCTA press release.

“Allowing our youth in Orange County to ride OC Bus for free will encourage a new generation of riders to discover how convenient and affordable the bus system is,” said OCTA Chairman Andrew Do, and OC First District Supervisor. “Expanding the free pass to 14 to 18-year-olds means we also reach high school students, helping them access education and jobs as they enter the workforce.”

OCTA says the physical bus pass will be available upon request from parents, and the agency will be working in partnership with local K-12 schools for pass distribution.

Additional details will be announced soon and more information can be found at