APPLETON, Wis. (Jan. 3, 2022) – Valley Transit, the public transportation service in the Fox Cities, is kicking off the new year with a partnership with Lawrence University to offer free rides to students who can provide a student ID. The free ride pilot program begins on January 3, 2022. The partnership aims to strengthen the connection for college students to Appleton and the surrounding area.

“Lawrentians come to Appleton from all over the world, not only to further their education, but to forge meaningful relationships in a new geography,” explained Garrett Singer, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Social Change at Lawrence University. “This partnership will contribute to that experience by allowing students to explore the Fox Valley without limitation.”

“I am grateful to Valley Transit for their partnership, which will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and their engagement with our surrounding community,” Laurie Carter, president of Lawrence University, said.

Valley Transit’s mission is to connect our communities through customer-focused transportation.

“Our team works hard each day to help people find their place in the community by eliminating transportation barriers,” said Valley Transit general manager, Ron McDonald. “This new partnership is truly a community-driven effort to expand access.”

For students who may be new to riding public transit, Valley Transit offers a free travel training program where students are partnered with a travel trainer who takes them through the process of riding the bus and navigating routes to where they want to go within the Fox Cities. Travel training is also free to the public. To sign up for travel training with Valley Transit, visit

“Having access to safe and reliable transportation through Valley Transit will support off-campus employment and volunteer engagements, link our students with local businesses for shopping and entertainment, and – perhaps most importantly – deepen our students’ sense of belonging and connectedness to the Fox Cities,” said Singer.

Valley Transit cares about the health and well-being of its drivers and riders. Per a federal mask mandate, masks are required to be worn at all times while using Valley Transit services. Additional practices in place at Valley Transit to ensure rider and driver safety include air purification systems, driver barriers, hand sanitizer available on all buses as well as within the transit center and regular sanitation of buses each night.

Lawrence University is providing Valley Transit a reimbursement of student fares; Valley Transit also offers free student rides through similar partnerships with Fox Valley Technical College and Appleton Area School District. Other services include: