Our network

MAX 'Summer Fun Pass' helps teens learn life skills | Business

Title (Max 100 Characters)

MAX 'Summer Fun Pass' helps teens learn life skills
MAX 'Summer Fun Pass' helps teens learn life skills

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Holland, Mich.) May 24, 2011 – School may be out soon, but learning to use the MAX public transit system offers teens some valuable life lessons that can’t be taught in any classroom.

“Learning to use public transit teaches teens the life skills of reading maps, planning and organizing trips, and time management. These are skills that they will hopefully use their whole life,” explains Doug Schwentor, a licensed social worker who contracts with the MAX to perform cognitive or physical passenger assessments and to provide travel training. “The experience also gives them independence and problem solving skills, which are important components of their developmental growth.”

To encourage more teens to use public transit, the Macatawa Area Express is again offering a special Teen Summer Fun Pass for youth age 10-17. The $30 pass entitles them to unlimited rides on MAX’s eight fixed routes that connect them with virtually any destination around the Holland/Zeeland area. They can even take their bike with them by loading it on the front rack of the bus.

“This really is the summer that we expect more teens to be riding the MAX,” says Sherri Cadeaux, marketing and customer service manager. “While students have the summer off, most parents don’t. Higher gas, food and home fuel costs also are squeezing many household budgets so that owning and operating a second or third car for the convenience of their teenager is not an option for many families.”

MAX has partnered with 11 area establishments that are popular teen destinations and are located near bus stops. Sponsors, some of which are offering special deals and discounts to Fun Pass holders, include the Holland Aquatic Center, Boys & Girls Club, Lemonjello’s, Lost City, Peppino’s Pizza, Herrick District Libraries, Holland 7 Theater, Century Bowling Lanes, Home Roller Rink, and Vitale’s Pizza.

Many youth are already familiar with using public transit. On any given day, an average of 160 students of all ages – from 5 to 18 -- can be seen boarding and transferring between buses at the Padnos Center at the peak times of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Cadeaux and Schwentor agree that often the first barrier to riding the bus is fear of the unknown. “Most people, young or older, are hesitant to board a bus if they don’t know which route to take, where bus stops are located, and the best place to deboard,” says Cadeaux. “To overcome that fear, we offer free travel training assistance to help inexperienced passengers plan trips so that they can feel confident in using the bus to get to their destination on their own.”

Those interested in travel training can call MAX at 355-1010 to have a “bus buddy” assigned to them to teach them how to ride the bus. MAX also offers four complimentary bus passes with the purchase of each Fun Pass so that parents can ride along with their children the first two times.

Passes are on sale now, and can be purchased online at catchamax.org or at the Padnos Transportation Center at 171 Lincoln Ave at 8th Street. In addition to the cost savings of buying a pass and the discounts offered by sponsors, teens who have their Fun Pass “Passport” validated by sponsors can submit it to MAX in September to be entered into a grand prize drawing for prizes.

For more information on the Summer Fun Pass, persons can visit MAX’s website at catchamax.org or call (616) 355-1010 or toll free (866) 355-1391.

Holland - Zeeland Deals