[image-1]Charleston students aged 6 and older are now able to use the region’s public transit system for free.

On Tuesday morning, the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority announced a pilot program that allows students from Lowcountry public and private schools to ride the system’s buses and shuttles for free.

The program will run through August with the possibility for an extension. Students don’t need to show ID to ride.

“The free student fare pilot program is a win-win and accomplishes several important things,” said CARTA Chairman Mike Seekings in a statement.

Seekings, who is also a Charleston city councilman, said that the effort will familiarize younger people with public transport, allow them to freely move around the region, and hopefully reduce the number of teens behind the wheel of a car.

CARTA serves most of the Charleston metro area. The authority is funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the S.C. Department of Transportation, along with revenue from Charleston County’s half-cent sales tax.

Users can track CARTA buses in real time with the Transit app. Routes and bus stops can be viewed at ridecarta.com/bus-stops.