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D.C. students would ride buses for free under legislation

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Local,DC,Education,Rachel Baye,Mary Cheh,Muriel Bowser,Metro and Traffic

Students in the District would be able to ride Metro and Circulator buses for free under a bill introduced Tuesday in the D.C. Council.

Proposed by Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser, Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh and at-large Councilwoman Anita Bonds, the bill would give students at public -- both traditional and charter -- and private elementary, middle and high schools free access to public buses while they travel to and from school and school-related activities.

Existing policy allows students to buy subsidized fare cards. The new measure would continue to give students discounted access to Metrorail.

The measure answers a complaint that has become increasingly common, particularly as D.C. Public Schools plans to close 13 neighborhood schools this month and as more students are traveling to charter schools across the city.

"With more students attending schools outside their neighborhoods, the needs for accessible and affordable transportation is absolutely necessary," said Bowser, the bill's lead sponsor. "We don't have a school bus system in D.C., but we should have a free ride to school."

rbaye@washingtonexaminer.com

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