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School Transit Subsidy Program

Kids Ride Free

The Kids Ride Free (KRF) program allows students to ride for free on Metrobus, the DC Circulator, and Metrorail within the District to get to school and school-related activities. The program uses an electronic Kids Ride Free pass that must be loaded onto students’ DC One Cards.

To be eligible, students must meet three qualifications :
  • Resident of the District of Columbia
  • Age 5 to 21
  • Enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, private, charter or parochial school located within the District; or a "Ward of DC" through the Foster Care System.

2018 - 2019 School Year 

The Kids Ride Free (KRF) program is getting smarter! Mayor Muriel Bowser established and championed KRF to ensure that all students who attend public schools can ride to and from school related activities for free on Metrobus, Metrorail, and the DC Circulator. DDOT and the school systems are implementing 2018-2019 school year updates to the program based on feedback from parents and students. These updates will make the program easier to use and more accessible.
Students who use Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator to get to school and school-related activities will need to obtain a new KRF SmarTrip card at a summer distribution event or when the next school year starts. Beginning in the 2018 -2019 school year, students will no longer use their DC One Cards to access public transportation.
  • The new SmarTrip card will provide students with free transportation on Metrobus, Metrorail, and DC Circulator to school and school-related activities.
  • Students will simply be required to tap their new KRF SmarTrip cards on all bus and rail trips.
  • The new card will be separate from students’ DC One Card and will provide students with easier and immediate access to Metrobus, Metrorail, and DC Circulator.
To avoid an interruption in in students' ability to use the Metro or DC Circulator, current KRF activated DC One Cards can be tapped to ride through September 30, 2018.

Get Your Card Early

Card distribution events will be held this summer in every ward.  These events will allow students who currently use bus and rail to get to school and school-related activities an opportunity to get their new KRF SmarTrip card before the new school year begins. To receive a new KRF SmarTrip card, students will need to bring their current DC One Card or a government issued I.D. and proof of residency to one of these events. 
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

*Event locations are subject to change. Please continue to check this website for updates as the KRF distribution events get closer. 

Additional Information

If students are unable to attend a summer distribution event, they can get their new SmartTrip card from their school’s DC One Card Administrator at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. For additional information, please review the Kids Ride Free 2018-2019 Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions about the KRF program, please contact your school’s DC One Card Administrator or the District Department of Transportation’s School Transit Subsidy Office at (202) 673-1740.

School Year 2017 - 2018 Kid Ride Free with DC One Card 

To ensure students avoid an interruption in their ability to use the Metro or DC Circulator, current KRF activated DC One Cards can be tapped to ride through September 30, 2018.

Loading the DC One Card

Pass Loading Instructions

Students are strongly encouraged to load DC One Cards at Metrorail Stations to avoid incurring a negative fare balance. To load your DC One Card at a Metrorail Station: 

  • Take the DC One Card to a Metrorail station.
  • Tap the card at a fare vending machine. If the machine displays a negative balance on the card, bring it up to $0.
  • On the next day, return to the same Metrorail station and tap the card again on a fare vending machine to load the pass.
  • Tap your card on a fare gate or farebox to use the pass.
  • If the gate does not open, check with the station manager to see if the pass has been successfully loaded or check the card status at dconecard.dc.gov.

Alternatively, DC One Cards can also be loaded on Metrobus or the DC Circulator. To load the benefit on the Metrobus or DC Circulator: 

  • Tap your DC One Card on a Metrobus farebox.
  • Wait three business days for the pass to become available for loading.
  • Tap the card again on a Metrobus farebox to complete loading and use the pass.
    If the pass hasn’t loaded after Steps 2 and 3, check the card status at dconecard.dc.gov or call the School Transit Office 
These flyers, frequently asked questions, and FAQs in Espanol provide additional detail about KRF 2017-2018. 

Discounted Metrorail Pass for Private School Students

Private school students may purchase the discounted 30-day student transit pass for $30 at the  Metro Sales office located at 600 5th Street, NW or online at wmata.com.

This pass is electronically loaded onto students’ DC One Cards after signing up for the program at dconecard.dc.gov. Students must be age 5 to 21, live in the District, and be enrolled at a District school to be eligible.

* Private and parochial school students are eligible for the free bus benefit, but not the free rail benefit. College students are not eligible for the Kids Ride Free program.

Contact Us

For additional information about the School Transit Subsidy Program, please call (202) 673-1740.