Valley Metro offers free rides until December

Valley Metro is making it easier for shoppers, workers, the elderly and college students to arrive at their destination without worrying about paying for transportation. Valley Metro officials say is offering a free ride program they hope will spur economic development throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Tom Logan is Director of Regional Transit for Valley Metro. He says the program is available to all Valley Metro passengers and students at UT campuses in edinburg and Brownsville. Free rides were first offered late last year and continue until December, 31, 2019. "Valley Metro presented a proposal to the Lower Rio Grande Development Council and it was approved," said Logan. "We wanted to use the free ride program as a way of promoting our services."

Logan says funding for the program comes from various public agencies. "We get funding from the state, federal government and local entities. Everybody contributes to this service. We did a cost benefit analysis and we found out that it would be a great for our community," said Logan. He says the responsee from the community has been positive. Especially from college students. "They express that they are grateful. We helped them get their college degree," said Logan.

Eighteen-year-old UTRGV computer science student, Gage Brush says the free ride has helped advance his academic career. “It’s been great. I ride the bus everyday to class. I’m saving a lot of money,” said Brush. "It's been a big help. I've been taking advantage of it all semester."

Valley Metro officials say their goal is to spread the word concerning their free ride program. "Inform your friends. Inform you neighbors. Take advantage of the program," said Logan.

For more information, contact Valley Metro at 1-800-574-8322 or visit LRGVDC.org.