Metro’s innovative free school field trip test begins

Here’s the news release from Metro:

Testing began today on the innovative new Metro Student Field Trip Pilot Program for grades 1 through 5. The test will allow L.A. Unified school field trips — students, teachers and chaperones — to travel for free on established Metro trains and bus routes during non-peak hours following authorization by both the school district and Metro. The goal is to help teachers continue to offer enriching educational and cultural experiences, even during these tough economic times for education.

For the test, schools will select from one of 10 L.A. Unified-sanctioned field trip destinations in or near downtown Los Angeles. Destinations include the California Science Center, Chinatown, City Hall, Civic Center, Central Library, the Performing Arts Center, Olvera Street, the Los Angeles Times, the Wells Fargo History Museum and the Museum of Natural History. No custom trips will be offered, nor will trips to sporting events.

“The test will help us see if we can make this program work for the benefit of the children and still serve Metro customers who have paid for their rides,” said Metro Transit Safety Education Manager Barbara Burns. “We need to remain particularly mindful of the children’s safety and service for Metro customers. Our hope is that the test will be successful and we can make this project work to everyone’s benefit.”

During testing, field trips will be on a first come, first served basis. Only five trips per day will be approved. Trips will be possible Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Trips will be limited to groups of 35 when utilizing bus service or 50 (25 per car) when utilizing train service, with a student-to-adult ratio of 1 adult per 10 students. No children under five years of age will be permitted. And teachers will be required to complete online safety and ridership training prior to field trips.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of our local schools through this field trip program,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe. “It’s essential that teachers continue to offer enriching experiences, even when money is tight. We think this program can help make that possible.”

The new school field trip program is the result of the Metro Board action in December endorsing a motion by L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member Antonio Villaraigosa to allow free field trips for students. The program will begin, following successful testing. For more details and updates go to and type “field trip” into the search field or contact Dixie Pattison, Metro Transit Education Programs, (213) 922-4050.

Categories: Policy & Funding

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4 replies

  1. Reasoning doesn’t really make sense.

    You might as well restrict children from walking down the street.

  2. This is not a good idea. There are many types of people on the buses, including crimals, drunks, psych and tons of people using foul language. Also remember, very one is allowed to ride including sex offenders.

  3. Metro has offered this service for years now to children from all over the community.

    Why the hype now?

  4. Very cool that Metro is doing this, I’ve already seen some classes passing by with the pink TAP card-like sticker lookalikes, which was actually a good idea since we are still proof of payment.

    Im sure there are plenty of teachers that will be able to take advantage of this and take their students to LACMA, The Getty, speaking of which get that Purple Line to LACMA (Wilshire/Fairfax) asap!