Baltimore city public school students will again be able to ride city buses for free until 8 p.m. thanks to $25,000 donated by the Baltimore Ravens and $50,000 donated by Under Armour, city officials recently announced.
The $75,000 donation join $26,000 raised by citizens, and by City Council members at a recent bake sale, to restore the free rides for students on Maryland Transit Administration buses. Students had been allowed to ride the buses for free until 8 p.m., until school officials and the MTA cut the availability of the free rides to 6 p.m. in December.
City Councilman Zeke Cohen, chairman of the council’s Education and Youth Committee, arranged the Feb. 2 bake sale and set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds needed to re-extend the free ride hours. He said the diminished hours caused students to quit after-school programs because they lacked a safe way to get home after 6 p.m.
“This has caused significant hardship to children and families,” Cohen said. “Less than two years out of the unrest, this policy sends the message that children don’t matter. These programs are life-and-death for our kids.”
The extended hours are scheduled to start on Feb. 20 and continue through the remainder of the school year.