AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The transportation collaboration between Amarillo College and the City of Amarillo, which lets anyone with an AC identification card ride city buses for free, just received a big monetary boost from the Kresge Foundation.
The College-City partnership was awarded a $75,000 grant support and evaluation of the transportation program, which, since it began on Aug. 15, has served approximately 2,200 AC passengers.
“This is wonderful news,” said Cara Crowley, AC vice president of strategic initiatives. “These Kresge funds will be used to purchase a scanning tracking system for all city buses so we can track AC student usage. It also gives us the wherewithal to support further, market and promote our transportation collaboration."
The grant is one of five college-transportation awards conferred Nov. 14 by Kresge, funding that will reach a total of 10 cities nationwide.
The grant earmarked for Amarillo College is administered by Temple University’s Hope Center for college, community and justice and contains similar funding for two other cities - Los Angeles and New York City - support and evaluation of ongoing community college public transportation initiatives there.
“These new partnerships show incredible promise in their place-based approaches to supporting student success while also increasing ridership on more sustainable and equitable transit options,” said Bethany Miller, education program officer at Kresge. “We are eager to learn more about how collaborations between transit agencies and colleges can help more city residents access, persist and succeed in college.”
AC’s free rides partnership with the City of Amarillo was launched last summer on the strength of a $25,000 start-up gift from Amarillo National Bank.
The alliance provides free bus rides for anyone with an AC identification card, students and employees, alike.