BART offers free ride program for school field trips in January


BART offers free ride program for school field trips in January

Update from January 29, 2010: Thanks for your interest in the free rides on BART for field trips.  However, we have reached our maximum of 15,000 students and have no more free rides available at this time.

If you would like to be notified of any future programs that provide free rides for field trips, click here to leave us your name, school location and email address so that we can contact you.

Following the rousing success of BART’s "Free Rides for School Field Trips" pilot program, which ends Friday, December 18, BART will offer an additional 13,000 free BART rides for school field trips in January, courtesy of American Express. The program funded by American Express provides $50,000 worth of free BART rides for 15,000 elementary through high school students and their teachers/chaperones for field trips to cultural and educational attractions that are close to BART. 
 
"Given the toll the State budget crisis has taken on education funding, we are particularly excited to partner with American Express to offer this program as a way to help Bay Area schools continue to experience hands-on learning opportunities outside of the classroom," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said.  "American Express’ generosity provides a way for kids to enjoy field trips without costing taxpayers a dime."

"American Express is proud to support this unique program that will provide students with extracurricular opportunities – something they might not have had the chance to experience otherwise," Melissa Schmitt, senior manager, American Express Merchant Services, said.

BART’s Pilot Free BART Rides for School Field Trips Program
In November, BART launched pilot free rides for school field trips program, offering 2,000 rides for grammar to high school youth in schools within a one-mile radius of BART stations. The ride dates were scheduled between December 7 and December 18.  BART’s Government and Community Relations staff got the word out directly to the teachers and their schools and the rides were quickly snapped up—demonstrating an active interest in the offer. This opened the gates to coordinate a bigger program starting in January.

Expanded Program Begins January 18 & Ends February 26, 2010
The expanded program, which will offer 13,000 free rides for students and 1,300 rides for their chaperones and is not limited to schools within a one-mile radius of BART stations, begins on Monday, January 18, and will run through February, 26, 2010.  To request free round-trip rides, a teacher must go online to www.bart.gov/fieldtrips  and fill out the request form.  Teachers will find the complete program rules, BART tips and suggested destinations to visit with their class on this web page.  Rides will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.  Once a request is confirmed, BART staff will mail a letter of confirmation to the teacher.   station agents will only allow classes with a confirmation letter to ride BART for free.

About American Express
Merchant Services is the merchant network of American Express, which acquires and maintains relationships with millions of merchants around the globe, which welcome American Express-branded Cards. American Express Company is a leading global payments, network, travel and banking company founded in 1850.