It’s almost time for Back to School in Arlington County! Classes begin September 8, and now is a good time for students and parents to make plans for the best way to get to class.
Middle and high school students have places to go, people to see and things to do – they want to do it all, and sometimes on their own. Who can blame them? With so many transportation options, this is perfect time for students to learn how to get around Arlington County on their own.
Enter Arlington Transit’s iRide card. This SmarTrip card is perk for students (up to age 23), with its own look, and its own way of helping Arlington students get around town. The iRide card works on Metro bus and rail, but the real perk is that every trip on an ART bus is just 85 cents! That’s right, you can ride practically free.
How does this work? Students can purchase the iRide SmarTrip card at any Commuter Store in Ballston, Rosslyn, Crystal City and Shirlington, for $2, along with their current APS identification. The card is valid as long as they are currently enrolled in Arlington Public Schools. The iRide brochure offers information on not just riding the ART bus, but also biking, walking, riding Metrorail, being a PAL and more.
After purchasing the iRide card (and loading money on it), start planning where to go by using Arlington’s Car Free Diet map. The Car Free Map gives an excellent overview of all the ART bus and Metrobus routes around Arlington, and quickly shows which routes pass by which schools. The iRide brochure lists several other web-based tools, including CarFreeAtoZ, CarFreeNearMe, Metro Trip Planner, the ART and Metro websites, as well as ART Real Time.
Regardless of where and how students go with their iRide cards, it is equally important to remember that students and adults need to be a PAL – Predictable, Alert and Lawful. Arlington streets are safer when everyone shares the road as they drive, bike and walk, especially around schools.
Planning now means a smoother ride on the first day. Buy an iRide card, pick your trip option and do a practice run before the first day of school. With help from Arlington Transportation Partners and ART, getting to school this year will be easy!