HRT Wins Virginia Transit Association Outstanding Program Award

Hampton Roads Transit’s new Student Freedom Pass program was selected as the 2017 winner of the Virginia Transit Association Outstanding Program Award.

HRT launched the Student Freedom Pass Pilot Program in August 2016. This new type of transit pass allows all customers 17 years old and younger to ride bus, light rail and ferry services for free providing them better access to before and after school programs, educational opportunities, jobs, and recreational activities.

Since the launch of the 2017 program on February 28th, there have been 60,126 rides taken by children on bus and ferry. To date, the Route 1 in Norfolk, serving Granby Street and Ocean View Avenue, saw the highest ridership with 2,798 rides.

The program was aimed at encouraging young customers to develop early and positive habits for using public transportation. This is the first time HRT has offered free transit to youths as a feature of its fare media.

Improvements were made to the program in 2017 to include online registration and a more durable fare card that contains a photo ID similar to a school ID or recreation center card.

HRT allows youth to ride at the half fare rate, or .75 cents one way, $1.75 all day. The Student Freedom Pass allows them to skip this charge after they apply for and receive their new pass. Young people boarding transit without a Student Freedom Pass will be required to pay the current half fare. If they board with a fare paying adult, they will ride free.

“The young are the future of our community,” said William E. Harrell, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Transit. “We want to provide the youth of Hampton Roads every opportunity to ride transit with as little effort as possible.”

To obtain a Student Freedom Pass, visit Hampton Roads Transit’s Downtown Norfolk Transit Center or Hampton Transit Center. For more information, please visit