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iRide Student Fare Pilot Program

February 24, 2022

Arlington Transit is conducting a pilot program with APS high school students to determine how ART Bus can assist students who live beyond the reach of APS school buses to get to school safely and on time.Arlington County is conducting a pilot program with Arlington Public Schools (APS) to determine if middle and high school students who live beyond the reach of APS school buses can ride the ART bus to and from school safely and on time.

iRide card imageArlington Public Schools assisted Arlington Transit - ART in identifying 2,400 middle and high school students who are eligible to participate in this pilot program. These students live in an area not served by APS yellow school buses, attend Immersion or Montessori schools outside of their home school zone, or are at the further edges of a walk-zone.

Students participating in the pilot program will receive a pre-registered iRide SmarTrip card which will automatically reload with $10 a week ($40 a month) during the school year, through June 2023. This subsidy does not include spring and summer break. These preloaded iRide SmarTrip cards will allow students to ride the ART bus for free to get to and from school.

This pilot will study ridership behavior and patterns of students to determine their unique needs of traveling throughout the County and ART's ability to meet that need.

FAQs for Student Free Transit Fare Pilot

What is the Arlington County/APS iRide Student Free Transit Fare Pilot?

  • 2,400 eligible APS middle and high school students will receive pre-loaded ART iRide cards beginning in February 2022
  • The 18-month pilot is supported by the federal American Rescue Plan
  • The pilot will:
    • Inform ART operation decisions regarding future free APS student public transit
    • Support evaluation of the ART Fare Study (to begin late Summer 2022)

Who is eligible to participate?

APS Middle and High School students whose school bus transportation involves consolidated or “hub” stops, travel to schools outside of their home school zones and are at the margins of the 1.5 miles walk zone from the following schools: Gunston Middle School, Kenmore Middle School, Wakefield High School, Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington Career Center and H-B Woodlawn.

I am eligible for APS school bus service. Will I lose eligibility for school bus service if I enroll in the iRide pilot program?

No, you will not lose APS school bus service by enrolling in this pilot program.

When is the pilot taking place?

The pilot starts in February 2022 and will end in June 2023.

How many cards are available?

The pilot is anticipating providing up to 2,400 cards to eligible students

Which buses are free?

Arlington Transit (ART) buses are free as part of the pilot

How much money is on the card?

This program offers $10 a week ($40 a month) non-rollover fare. Fares will not be loaded in June.


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