JANESVILLE—Janesville middle and high-school students will now be able to ride the bus for free following a new three-year agreement between the School District of Janesville and the Janesville Transit System.

Students will be required to show their student ID as they board the bus to take advantage of this opportunity.

“We are very excited to provide this free bus ride option for our students, potentially removing a barrier that may have impacted a student’s attendance,” said Mark Holzman, SDJ Superintendent in a news release. “This partnership with the City of Janesville and the Janesville Transit System is a perfect example of working together to help our young people achieve more.”

Beginning Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, SDJ students will be able to ride the JTS buses at any time for free by identifying themselves as a student in the School District of Janesville.

This agreement replaces the discounted semester bus pass and reduced-price token system that had been in place in prior years. With this agreement, SDJ students are not limited to riding JTS only to and from school but can use the bus system outside of school hours to travel to work, the library, or other local businesses.

In addition to the regular JTS bus routes, the agreemen allows students to ride the Beloit/Janesville Express (BJE) and bus routes that cover Blackhawk Technical College.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with the school district on this project,” said Janesville City Manager Kevin Lahner. “We look forward to a successful collaboration that benefits our community.”

While some middle and high school students might not have their student ID cards right away, they can still take advantage of the free-ride program by showing their student ID from the last school year or by telling the bus driver which school they attend.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2023, they will need to show their current student ID in order to ride at no charge. This agreement is primarily designed for middle and high school students, although some elementary students might be eligible on a case-by-case basis.