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Metro offers free rides for LAUSD students during teachers’ strike

Metro offers free rides for LAUSD students during teachers’ strike
A Metro bus motors down Third Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

With the first teachers’ strike in Los Angeles in 30 years possibly starting Thursday, L.A. Metro is offering free rides to Los Angeles Unified School District students.

Students would be able to ride free from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. each strike day, according to Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. The Metro Board will consider the matter at its Jan. 24 meeting if a strike is still underway.

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“We have to do everything possible to ease the burden on parents and children affected by a strike,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Free rides on Metro mean that families will have one less thing to worry about while both parties work toward an agreement.”

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl supported the measure.

“LAUSD is the country’s second-largest school district, with more than 600,000 students. At Metro, we want to help those kids who may be staying home from school because of the strike find constructive and educational ways to spend their time,” Kuehl said. “Free Metro access will help make it easier for students and their families to get to parks, museums, libraries and other facilities.”

About 31,000 United Teachers of Los Angeles employees plan to strike. Students can expect to see significant cuts in the number of faculty present.

Metro bus operators will check LAUSD student IDs onboard buses, and fare enforcement officers will allow students, with ID cards, to ride without fares on Metro’s Gold, Blue, Green and Expo light rail lines. On the Metro Red and Purple lines, Metro will deploy TAP personnel to facilitate students’ free entry through subway fare gates.

Also Tuesday, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County announced free general admission to all LAUSD students and chaperones for the duration of the strike. The offer applies from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County includes the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits and the William S. Hart Museum.

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