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Kids Ride Free Frequently Asked Questions

Kids Ride Free Program
Frequently Asked Questions

School Year 2018- 2019 

Why is Kids Ride Free changing from the DC One Card to the SmarTrip card?
The District and WMATA are implementing updates to the KRF program based on feedback from parents and students. These updates will make the program easier to use and more accessible. Students will no longer need to complete the two-tap activation process or wait for their pass to download before they can take their first trip. Instead, students will receive a new KRF SmarTrip card that will come pre-loaded with the Kids Ride Free pass and will be ready to use on Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator for school-related travel. The new KRF SmartTrip card is valid for the 2018-2019 school year including summer school.

Which students are allowed to receive this new KRF SmarTrip card?
Program requirements have not changed. Students who are District residents and who attend a District public, public charter or private school, between the ages of 5 and 21, can still enroll in the Kids Ride Free program.

How will the DC One Card be used in the future?
Your current DC One Card can continue to be used for purposes other than participating in Kids Ride Free. DCPS students will continue to use their DC One Card as a student ID, and all students who have a DC One Card will still be able to use it to access District of Columbia Public Libraries and DC Department of Parks and Recreation facilities.

How can new DC One Cards be requested?
New DC One Cards may still be requested from a school’s DC One Card administrator.

When is the last day the DC One Card can be used with the Kids Ride Free program?
The current KRF pass on DC One Cards will expire on September 30, 2018. Before then, an eligible student who desires to participate in Kids Ride Free should obtain a new KRF SmarTrip card at one of the summer distribution events or from their school’s DC One Card Administrator. See tentative dates and locations for these events below.

Tentative Location





Wilson High School

3950 Chesapeake St NW, Washington, DC 20016


July 21

9am - 2pm

Capitol Hill Montessori School @ Logan

215 G St NE, Washington, DC 20002


July 22

2pm - 7pm

Brightwood Education Campus

1300 Nicholson Street, NW


August 4

9am - 2pm

Dunbar High School

101 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001


August 5

1pm - 6pm

Columbia Heights Ed Campus

3101 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010


August 11

9am - 2pm

Ballou High School

3401 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20032


August 12

1pm - 6pm

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001


August 18

9am - 4pm

District Department of Employment Services

4058 Minnesota Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019


August 19

1pm - 6pm

How will the KRF SmarTrip card look different from the DC One Card and from other, regular SmarTrip cards?
The KRF SmarTrip cards will look similar to regular SmarTrip cards. However, they will have a small sticker on the back of the card to distinguish them specifically for students. Each student requesting to participate in Kids Ride Free will be assigned one SmarTrip card with a unique serial number.

Will the new KRF SmarTrip card have the student’s name and photo on it, similar to the DC One Card?
The KRF SmarTrip cards will not have student photos or names printed on them.

How will replacement cards be handled under this new model?
If a card needs to be replaced, students will need to request a new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip card from their DC One Card administrator (located at their respective school). In addition, the lost card will be reported to WMATA and “hot listed” and will no longer be active.

Will students be charged for replacement cards?
Students will not be charged for a replacement card. In the interim, students who lose their card will be responsible for paying their fare until they receive a replacement KRF SmarTrip card.

When and where can the new KRF SmarTrip card be used?
KRF is for transportation to and from school related activities. If a student needs to get to a school-related event on the weekend, they may use this card. 

How does a new card get activated or loaded?
The new KRF SmarTrip card will come pre-loaded with the Kids Ride Free pass and will be ready to use on Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator for school-related travel when it is issued to the student.



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