Thousands of Tarrant County College (TCC) students are enjoying the public transportation benefit they receive for furthering their education. When TCC started covering the cost of Trinity Metro bus and rail rides in May, students took nearly 1,000 rides in Tarrant County. The upward trend skyrocketed in subsequent months, with more than 14,000 rides in October.
As part of the agreement, Trinity Metro added service to TCC’s Northeast and Southeast campuses in August. Now students can access all of the TCC campuses at no cost to them.
For students like Alexandra Lopez, having TCC pick up the tab has made a big difference. “It has saved me so much money and I am just so grateful for it,” she said. Having the flexibility to reach multiple locations is another aspect of the program that has made a significant impact on her education.
“One of the campuses I attend is Southeast campus and before the program, there wasn’t any bus to Southeast,” Lopez said. “Some of the courses that I needed to take were only available there. I thought I was going to have to wait until I transfer to a university, which is something I did not want to do.”
TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini is pleased with the program’s progress.
“It is gratifying to see what a major impact our partnership with Trinity Metro already is having on our students as they work to pursue their higher education goals,” he said. “Providing our students with free transportation to every TCC location through our Ride On Program furthers our goal of being a student-ready institution and removes a significant barrier to completion for many of our students.”
Trinity Metro President/CEO Paul J Ballard said the partnership is working as planned.
“When Chancellor Giovannini and I talked about this agreement last year, we hoped that the opportunity for students to access all campuses would enhance their college experience and provide the flexibility they need to enroll in classes they choose, regardless of the location,” he said. ”Because TCC students enjoy unlimited rides, they also benefit by having convenient options for getting to the grocery store, medical appointments or weekend entertainment. The success we’re seeing so far shows that the program is working.”