Metro offers free buses, trains so school kids can keep up field trips
County transportation officials on Wednesday unveiled a free field trip program for schools, stepping in to help because of limited funding for buses and excursions.
The program, open to all Los Angeles County schools and class grades 1 - 12, is designed to take students during non-rush hours -– Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. –- on buses and trains to any of about 20 locations including the California Science Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
"With schools facing enormous budget costs, we know that funding for special programs such as field trips is almost nonexistent," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "This program will now afford students to take field trips and see the region's various cultural and historical sites for free," he said.
Metro officials said because the program will be run during off-peak hours there is no increase in operating costs. They said there would not be any escorted trips by Metro staff and that each group of students, teachers and adult chaperones on a trip is capped at 40.
Officials said they plan to offer up to five field trips each weekday.
Teachers are able to register for the program online here.
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Photo: Metro buses stop at Wilshire and Western last year. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times