Our Mission

Every child in Detroit deserves a safe ride.


The Youth Transit Alliance (YTA) strives to ensure that children have safe, reliable access to the programs, activities and organizations that enrich their lives.

The YTA is operated by the Detroit Bus Company. The mission of the Detroit Bus Company is to create equitable transportation opportunities for the people of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. We have built the YTA as a service to support after school programs because youth should be supported and empowered at every opportunity.

“The bus company helps students to experience and participate in other activities. This expands our skills, our views of the world and our dreams of what we may be able to do.”- Luis Gonzalez, YTA Rider

Across Detroit there are hundreds of quality after school programs, and according to youth program staff interviewed by the Skillman Foundation there is significant student interest in attending these programs. Unfortunately, this interest is trumped by students’ inability to access the programs; transportation is limiting the limiting factor.

Boosting and sustaining youth access to after school programming can help lay the foundation for lasting economic and community development. According to a joint report from the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice, youth victimization and violence rates spike in after school hours. The report states that even the most basic aspect of after school activity, mentoring, reduces youth drug use by 46%, and violent activity by 33% (U.S. Dept. of Ed & U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2000). The safety of youth has a positive economic impact on the family. Parents worried about their child’s out of school time miss five more days of work per year than parents without such worries. Furthermore, high rates of work-time related stress reduce efficiency (Barnett, 2004).

“It gives [our] parents peace of mind knowing their child or children are okay.” -Miracle Hawkins, YTA Rider

According to Brennan & Burnet (2009), youth who have positive interactions with adults (and older youth) “are essential to partnership building and long-term involvement in community development efforts”. Youth are empowered when they’re able to choose the after school program they desire, rather than merely what they can get to.

“I get to meet and talk to new people and have fun…” -Keseaun L. Gault, YTA Rider

At the City level, engaged youth can be part of systemic reduction in crime and related costs. The UCLA National Center for Research on Evaluation found that “every dollar invested in LA’s BEST (an after school enrichment program) saves the city [of Los Angeles] $2.50 in crime-related costs” (Huang, 2010). LA’s BEST is a well-scaled organization. Detroit does not have the luxury of such a dense population or service concentration across the city. We believe YTA can bridge the gap of service and scale to help Detroit’s nonprofits stretch their dollars and impact more youth.

How to Help


Donations are the cornerstone of our program. The YTA is and will always be free for students. Support the YTA with a monthly donation.


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In the Media




Reach out to us anytime!

Email: YTA@thedetroitbus.com — Phone: 313-444-2871