WASHINGTON — D.C. kids have been able to ride Metro buses to school for free since 2013, and now they’ll also be able to catch a train if they prefer.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this week that the Kids Ride Free program would be expanding to Metro rail, in part because some students can’t take advantage of the free bus access because their schools are too far away from their homes.

At Bowser’s announcement of the program this week, WNEW’s D.C. Bureau Chief Kris Ankarlo spoke with some students who said they are happy about the program’s expansion for that very reason.

One boy said he used to take two or three buses to school, which took about 40 minutes.

“We’re not like the suburban jurisdictions where we have a free bus system, where all the kids walk outside and get on the school bus,” Bowser says. “Our school bus is, in fact, the Metro system.”

Bowser says the program will save an average family with two children who ride the Metro to school about $600 over the course of the school year.

“Kids Ride Free saves families money and gets kids to school safely and on time,” Bowser says.

“Expanding the initiative to include Metrorail will give our young people more public transit options, which is especially important to the 75 percent of District students who attend schools outside of their neighborhoods.”

A DC One Card is required to receive the free pass. Students must register their DC One Cards and enroll in the program at dconecard.dc.gov/manage.

WNEW D.C. Bureau Chief Kris Ankarlo contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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