DC Councilmember Proposes Monthly $100 Public Transportation Benefit

Ward 6 D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen has proposed a $100 monthly benefit to be used on a SmarTrip card by DC residents. The proposed program, named Metro for DC, is dedicated to improving bus service in low-income communities and providing the monthly benefit for the residents of these communities. The program prioritizes Medicaid-eligible residents first, followed by families earning up to 100% AMI ($96,000), families earning $155,000, and the individuals and families remaining. Students enrolled in the Kids Ride Free program and federal employees who already receive a benefit are not eligible for the new program.

The program will be funded by surplus taxes that have been collected by the city. However, if someone is accepted and enrolled into the program but does not use or finish the $100 benefit on their SmarTrip card, DC will not lose any money. This is because the benefit does not roll over: If there is any money left on the card, it will not be available to use the following month.

The program’s other initiative of improving bus service will include new buses, improved headways, bus lanes, bus shelters, etc. This will organically increase ridership and make Metrobuses convenient and reliable for DC residents, specifically low-income.

Councilmember Allen is introducing legislation for the program today, Tues. March 3rd.