Youth Unlimited Program

In partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education, SamTrans provides free bus fares for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged (SED) students, as defined by the California Department of Education.  

SED students include students that are eligible for the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program, students experiencing homelessness, foster-youth, migrant students, and students whose parents did not graduate high school.  Full definition of SED students is available in the California Department of Education's "California School Dashboard Technical Guide," page 39, at 

The overall goals of the program are to reduce transportation costs for low-income families, attract new and more frequent riders, and understand the potential operational impacts of providing free fares to some or all youth riders. 

Free bus fares are in the form of an annual pass that is swiped through the farebox.  The SamTrans Youth Unlimited Pass is valid August 1 – August 31. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. How do I get a Youth Unlimited pass? 
    School districts and individual schools are responsible for distributing the passes to eligible students. Contact your school if you believe you are eligible and haven’t received a pass. 

  2. How do I use my Youth Unlimited pass? 
    When boarding the bus, you will swipe the pass through the farebox. Be sure to take care of your pass so it lasts the entire school year. Keep it away from magnets, do not bend and do not get wet. 

  3. What if lost my pass or it stops working? 
    Please tell your school administrator and they will let you know the next steps. 

  4. What SamTrans bus routes serve my school? 
    Visit, call SamTrans Customer Service at 1-800-660-4287 or email  

  5. Are parents eligible for the program? 
    Parents are not eligible to participate in the program. It’s only for students.  The Clipper® START program offers a 50% fare discount for adult low-income SamTrans riders. To learn more and apply for the discount, visit the Clipper® START website.

More Information

SamTrans held a community meeting on May 24, 2022 to share findings and discuss the Youth Unlimited Pilot Program Evaluation.