No-Cost/Low-Cost Transit Program, Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE), Promoted at Glendale Central Library Pop-Up Event

Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program offers no-cost or low-cost transportation options across Los Angeles County – 20 free rides or unlimited rides for $24 a month – to qualified, enrolled LA County residents. GCC Students already ride FREE with GoPass

In this file photo, students ride the bus across the Verdugo campus. (Photo by Ekaterina Nikitina)

“Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) is a transformative program which represents greater mobility opportunities for residents across Los Angeles County,” said Glendale Councilmember and Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian on the chilly morning of Nov. 3 on the steps of Glendale Central Library. “I am excited to see the first in-person pop-up enrollment event in Glendale. We want to get the word out about how the LIFE program provides expanded mobility and financial relief to low-income residents, especially in light of record high gasoline prices.”

In-person outreach is part of a cross-organizational county-wide effort between LA County Metro and 14 transit agencies to increase overall participation in the LIFE program. “Our board made a motion at the end of last year to double the number of enrolled LIFE participants by the end of 2022. At that time, there were around 91,000 participants. As of today, at around 98.7% – we’re very close to doubling the goal, slightly ahead of schedule. We’re excited about that!” said Devon Deming, Deputy Executive Officer of Metro’s Fareless System Initiative. Meeting the goal requires enrolling about 1,500 people by year’s end.

While LIFE provides an excellent low-cost/no-cost transportation option for most low-income LA County residents, including family members of GCC students, GoPass is a better deal for GCC students – it’s free. 

In August, Glendale Community College (GCC), the City of Glendale Beeline, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced the GoPass program that allows all GCC students who enroll to receive a year-long transit pass good for unlimited free bus and train rides across participating transit systems. 

LA County Metro, Glendale Beeline, and LA County Department of Social Services representatives were on hand to enroll applicants and address other basic needs of low-income residents. Many low-income riders use cash for their transport purchases, making them inaccessible to electronic means of program awareness. Locations of in-person pop-up events are chosen to specifically reach low-income riders where they work and live. Applications are available 24/7 on the Metro website.

“We are here today to support the LIFE program and offer Glendale Beeline information to our residence,” said Glendale Beeline representative Tatevik Vardanyan. “Working with the LIFE program expands the mobility of transit users and offers them broader access to public transportation.” According to their website, the Glendale Beeline operates twelve fixed routes serving the cities of Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated areas of La Crescenta and Montrose. The Beeline functions primarily as a community circulator system that complements the regional transit service provided to Glendale residents by Metro routes.

“The Metro’s LIFE program makes free rides available for the low-income population, with qualifications, 20 free rides per month for 12 months. To qualify, you must be low-income or have access to public benefits,” said LIFE program administrator and International Institute of Los Angeles’ case manager Erick Burgos. “If you need more than 20 free rides, you can get discounts on monthly passes or access student passes.” 

First-time LIFE program applicants get a free 90-day Metro pass after approval. The rider then chooses between 20 free rides a month or unlimited rides for $24 a month. Both options significantly discount the regular pass price of $100/month. For a household of one, annual income must be $41,700 or less to qualify.

“Another important resource for students is access to debt forgiveness and assistance with utility bills (energy, gas, phone, internet) through the California Public Utilities Commission,” said Burgos. “International Institute of Los Angeles can assist low-income residents and students with access to a variety of services.”

All GCC Students are eligible for a free GoPass, which is good for unlimited rides on Metro, Glendale Beeline, and 12 other transit agencies. To get your free student GoPass, fill out an application or contact the GCC Cares office at [email protected]. “This represents a value of up to $1,500 in free metro rides,” said GCC Cares Manager Andre Manukyan earlier this year in an email to GCC studentry. 


To get your free GoPass, refer to:

To learn more about and enroll online in Metro’s Tap Into Savings LIFE program, refer to:

To learn more about student assistance resources offered by GCC Cares, refer to:

To read El Vaquero’s article on the GoPass launch, refer to:

To learn how International Institutes of Los Angeles can assist with debt forgiveness and utility bills, refer to: