New school year means new free SmarTrip cards for DC students

The District is once again making getting to school a little easier, and free, for local students.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is encouraging parents to plan ahead for the new school year and how students get to school every day, encouraging them to take advantage of the Kids Ride Free program.

The Kids Ride Free SmarTrip card for the coming school year. (Courtesy DC)

Through the program, students can get to school and school-related activities for free on Metrobus, Metrorail and the D.C. Circulator.

Last year’s free SmarTrip cards through the program will work through Sept. 30, but students will need new cards after that.

“We know how important it is for students to be at school every day, on time — and that starts with having a plan for getting to and from school,” said Bowser in a news release. “If your child will be taking the bus or Metro to school, now is the time to make sure you have their Kids Ride Free SmarTrip card ready. We have a fantastic public transportation system in D.C., and Kids Ride Free makes it affordable and accessible for all our students.”

To be eligible for a free SmarTrip card through the program, a student must be a D.C. resident, age five through 21 and enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, public charter, private, or parochial school located in D.C. or youth in the care of the District.

Children under five can travel for free on Metro with a paying passenger.

Ahead of the first day of school, the new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards will be sent to all D.C. schools to be handed out to students.

New students will get their cards first, according to the news release.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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