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Orange County

Summer Bus Pass Is Discounted for Teens

June 10, 2003|Denise M. Bonilla | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County Transportation Authority wants to entice teenagers onto buses this summer with Y Cruiser, a discounted bus pass that also gives savings at some popular stores and restaurants.

The $35 pass, which resembles a credit card, offers unlimited rides from now until Aug. 31 for those 18 and under.

OCTA first introduced the Y Cruiser last summer as a wristband, selling close to 1,500.

"We wanted to try and encourage kids to use the bus for the summer," said Dana Wiemiller, OCTA marketing programs administrator.

The pilot program was so successful that OCTA stepped up marketing efforts this year.

Schools and YMCAs now sell the passes, and OCTA is advertising them in bus shelters and movie theaters.

As an added incentive, teenagers can use the passes to get discounts at places like Pizza Hut, Vans Skatepark, the Powerhouse video arcade and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

So far, 600 Y Cruisers have been sold, and Wiemiller said OCTA hopes to double last year's total.

It has budgeted $50,000 for marketing and the cost of the passes, but officials said they expect the program to pay for itself.

OCTA Chairman Tim Keenan said the passes are a way to reach out to teens and establish bus-riding patterns.

If the program garners lots of riders again this year, it will be become a permanent feature of summer bus service.

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