Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card?
The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card is a permanent, rechargeable fare card sold only to Arlington County K - 12 students. It's plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card. The card lets users pay the $1.00 student discount fare when riding ART – Arlington Transit buses. The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card can also be used on any regional transit system that accepts SmarTrip®, including Metrobus and Metrorail, but the discounted student fare only applies to ART. The card expires when the student graduates from high school (see question 5). View this video to learn more about the SmarTrip card.
2. Who can purchase the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card?
Arlington County residents of elementary, middle and high school age are eligible to purchase a Student iRide SmarTrip® Card. Students who are home schooled or attend public or private private school can purchase the card as long as they are Arlington County residents. The card will expire when the student graduates from high school (see question 5). The Student iRide SmarTrip card must be registered to the student with WMATA at the time of purchase.
3. How much does the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card cost?
The cost is $2 per card – one card per student. After purchase, money must be added onto the card in order to use the card to pay for transit fares. (See Question 12 for more information on how to add money.)
4. How does the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card work?
The card can be used on all ART buses, Metrobuses, Metrorail and regional bus systems that accept SmarTrip. The card provides the $1.00 student fare when riding ART – Arlington Transit buses. The student discount does not apply to any other transit services. Students will be charged regular fare when using the card on other transit services..
5. How long is the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card good for?
The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card will expire when the student graduates from high school. Students who attend Arlington Community High School, Langston High School or another continuing education program can use the Student iRide SmarTrip card until they either graduate or turn 22 years old. At that time, the student will need to purchase a regular SmarTrip® Card. Any money still on the Student SmarTrip card when it expires will be transferred to a regular SmarTrip® Card. Both cards must be registered with WMATA to make this possible.
6. Where can I purchase the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card?
The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card may be purchased at any Commuter Store or Mobile Commuter Store.
7. Can I purchase a Student iRide SmarTrip® Card online or by mail?
No. The student must come in person to purchase a Student iRide SmarTrip® Card at one of the Commuter Stores. A student ID, state issued identification card or driver’s license must be presented at the time of purchase. Documentation of age must be provided with the student ID if the student’s birth date is not verified on the student identification card.
8. Are Student iRide SmarTrip® Cards required to be registered?
Yes, the card will be registered to the student at the time of purchase. If the registered Student iRide SmarTrip® Card is lost or stolen, the stored value can be transferred to a new card.
9. What if the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card is lost or stolen?
The student must contact the SmarTrip® Regional Customer Service Center (RCSC) at 1-888-762-7874 (TDD: 711) to report the lost or stolen card. The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card will be deactivated. A replacement Student iRide SmarTrip® Card can be purchased at any Commuter Store in Arlington (see question 6 for locations). There are no refunds for the $2 cost of the lost or stolen Student iRide SmarTrip® Cards. All cards must be registered, so that any stored value on a lost or stolen card can be transferred to a new card.
10. What if I have problems with my Student iRide SmarTrip® Card or lose money while trying to use it?
For questions pertaining to the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card, please contact the SmarTrip® Regional Customer Service Center (RCSC) at 1-888-762-7874 or see Metro's SmarTrip page for more information from Metro.
11. Can someone else use my SmarTrip card?
No. The Student iRide SmarTrip® Card is intended for use only by the student who purchased and registered the card.
12. How do I add money to my Student iRide SmarTrip Card?
Just like a regular SmarTrip Card, you can add money at any Metrorail, Metrobus or ART fare machine, at select Giant and CVS/pharmacy stores, and at any Commuter Store. As a last resort, you can add money using the fare box on the bus.
13. Will Arlington Transit continue to offer the green iRide tokens and the student cash discount fare with a student ID?
Yes. Green iRide tokens will still be available for purchase at all Commuter Stores and select Community Centers in Arlington. Students without the Student iRide SmarTrip® Card can also receive the $1.00 student fare when riding ART buses by showing their student ID and paying the discounted fare in cash.
14. What if I have general questions pertaining to ART - Arlington Transit bus service?
For questions regarding ART -- Arlington Transit bus service, please call the Customer Service number at 703-228-RIDE (703-228-7433, TDD: 711) or go to www.arlingtontransit.com