In the District, school students may now ride Metro buses or the D.C. Circulator to school for free.
As she stood outside Brightwood Elementary School, Ward 4 Council member and mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser said she pushed to subsidize bus rides so all students could ride at no cost to them. The District does not have its own free school bus system, except for special needs students.
"All other students in the District of Columbia are responsible for getting to school on their own. For a long time that worked in D.C. because we had neighborhood schools and children could walk to school. We began to hear a lot of problems with transportation as some of our neighborhood schools closed, and families were having to go to different neighorhoods to go to school," she explains.
Bowser says some families struggle to afford the $30 per month Metro bus pass. Kristin Ortiz has a seventh and tenth grader in the D.C. school system and she thinks the free rides are a great idea.
"My kids take the bus every day and it was a hassle to get the student pass. It makes life a lot easier for parents," she says.
Students in grades 6-12 can use their D.C. One identification cards with embedded Smartrip for both Metro buses and the D.C. Circulator. Younger students can apply for bus passes at their schools.