By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Students enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District and other participating districts in L.A. County will be able to take the Metro for free starting Friday and continuing through June 30, 2023.

“Getting free Metro TAP cards into the hands of every Los Angeles Unified student will be a game-changer,” Los Angeles Unified Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said.

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“Our commitment in providing free transportation will expand our students’ worldviews. They’ll be able to access additional educational opportunities such as internships, employment and other meaningful experiences and recreational activities outside of their immediate neighborhoods.”

On Sept. 23, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Directors gave final approval to a 23-month pilot program that allows K-12 students and anyone enrolled in community college to ride Metro fare-free.

Since then, 41 of Los Angeles County’s 87 school districts have expressed interest in the program. On Wednesday, Metro said agreements were being finalized with 30 schools and districts.

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Students will get a free TAP card that can be used on all Metro-operated transit options.

The program is expected to cost about $49.9 million in lost revenue over two years.

A majority of the pilot program, $41.5 million, will be paid by the $1.9 trillion federal American Rescue Plan which was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Metro currently offers fare discounts to people who make $39,450 a year or less, people age 62 and older, veterans and people with disabilities, K- 12 students and people in college or vocational school.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)