Arlington Transit (ART) bus service

The Arlington government offers Arlington Transit (ART) bus service through a contract with a private provider. (Arlington government photo)

Secondary-school students in Arlington now will be able to ride for free throughout the Arlington Transit (ART) bus network.

But there is a hiccup in the plan. (More on that below.)

Previously, students had been able to take rides to and from school without charge on the bus network. The expanded effort, which began at the start of the school year on Aug. 29, provides free rides throughout the system.

(Previously, students paid $1 per trip, or half the regular fare, for rides outside their home-to-work-to-school circuit.)

The ART system operates 16 routes within Arlington. It is funded by the county government and operated by a private contractor.

To be eligible for free rides, students most use an iRide SmarTrip card. For those who do not as yet have them, however, the aforementioned hiccup may come into play.

Due to supply-chain issues, supplies of new iRide cards currently are limited and are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, Arlington government officials said.

Once the existing supply is exhausted, it is likely new cards will arrive and be available for distribution in October, county officials said.

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