The Decatur City Council has approved an agreement with Richland Community College to provide free public transportation for their students. Richland students can now ride city buses for free without restrictions as long as they have a valid school ID. The college is reimbursing Decatur Public Transit for all rides, so students can have access to transportation at all times (whether they are traveling to class, work, or anywhere in the community). This is one of many resources the Richland Community College Foundation has been working to provide in recent years.
Along with providing scholarships, they have expanded to opening The Pantry on campus (a collaboration with The Good Samaritan Inn), establishing on-site mental health services in partnership with Crossing Healthcare and offering student assistance grants with the support of many community donors. The goal is to remove barriers for Richland students.
“We have been working for years to alleviate the transportation barriers many students face,” said Julie Melton, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Richland. “Originally, we offered them bus tokens & passes, but we determined we needed to offer something that would be even more accessible to our diverse student population. This partnership with Decatur Transit Authority will not only impact our students but our community as a whole.”
Lacie Elzy, Transportation Services Director for the City of Decatur, said, “We are excited to continue growing these partnerships with our educational institutions. Agreements like this are the first step in eliminating transportation barriers and promoting equity for the families in our community.”