LATS: LPS Student IDs Are Bus Passes Starting in January

Source: Kim McConnell, The Lawton Constitution

Lawton Public Schools will be starting a new bus program for its secondary students in January.

The City Council, acting in its capacity as the City Transit Trust, agreed this week to a program that already had won approval from the Lawton Board of Education in early November: allowing the school district’s secondary students to use their student identification cards as a pass to give them free rides on any fixed route bus operated by the Lawton Area Transit System (LATS). The program will begin when school resumes in January for the spring semester.

LATS General Manager Ryan Landers said LATS and Lawton Public Schools have been negotiating for months on the proposal that is expected to benefit students before recently reaching agreement.

Lawton Public Schools has agreed to pay LATS $35,000 for the spring semester and, in exchange, any district secondary student those in grades six through 12 may ride a fixed route bus free of charge any time LATS is operating and as often as they want, as long as they show their LPS student identification. LATS officials said program can be used for trips to and from school, but also could mean after-school activities and destinations on Saturdays.

“It’s good for the students,” Landers said, noting the advantages to students and their parents that comes by offering reliable transportation without charge.

Since its beginnings, LATS has had a pass system that allows parents or students to purchase semester passes, at a cost of $30 per semester or $60 for two semesters. And city officials have said that LATS routes specifically crafted to ensure they pass by or are within a short walk of every secondary school in Lawton, as well as Cameron University and Great Plains Technology Center.

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