DC students get new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards

The new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards. (Courtesy D.C. Mayor’s Office)

D.C. is making sure students can get to school for free this year.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards for the 2021-2022 school year will be available for pickup by students by the first week of school.

“With the 2021-2022 school year right around the corner, we are incredibly excited to welcome back our students full-time to the classroom,” Bowser said in a statement. “It is more important than ever that we support our students with free and safe transportation options to and from school.”

Through the Kids Ride Free program, District students can get to school and school-related activities for free on Metrobus, Metrorail and the DC Circulator.

According to a release, cards will be sent directly to all D.C. Public Schools and D.C. public charter schools for distribution so families can pick them up directly.

New students will be given first priority for the cards. The 2020-2021 cards will be valid through Sept. 30. If students lose their cards, they can request replacements from their School ID Administrator.

To be eligible for the program, students must be:

  • A resident of D.C.;
  • Between 5 and 21 years old; and
  • Enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, public charter, private, or parochial school located within the District, or
  • Be a youth in the care of the District.

The District Department of Transportation has an FAQ on its site. And there’s more information at kidsridefree.dc.gov.

If you need to contact your school ID administrator or DDOT’s School Transit Subsidy Program Office, call 202-673-1740.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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