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Kids Ride FREE - Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card - Get Yours Today



The Kids Ride Free program provides free rides on County Ride On buses and certain Metrobus routes within Montgomery County to kids ages 18 and under (older if still in high school) who are Montgomery County residentsThe free rides are available weekdays between 2 and 8 p.m.

The program, which is for students, operates year-round. Students should show their Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card when boarding buses.  School photo identification cards (IDs) have been used in the past and will continue to be accepted until a cutoff date is set.   All student riders are requested to have a Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card for use by January 1, 2017.  Some schools, all Montgomery County libraries, TRiPS Stores and the Treasury Division office sell the cards for $2.  Please see the list of schools at:  New schools can sign up to participate by contacting Paula Van Hagen at

Other facts about the program are:

• TheYouth Cruiser SmarTrip® Card is a rechargeable farecard sold only to Montgomery County residents 18 years and younger (older if still in high school). It’s plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the values on the card. Monthly and summer passes are loaded electronically on to the card.

• Using the Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® Card is FAST AND EASY. The Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® Card is good on any regional transit system that accepts SmarTrip, including Metrobus and Metrorail, but the card must have stored value.

• A parent or child must come in person with proof of residency and age to purchase a Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® Card.  

**** Proof of age: birth certificate, state identification, learner's permit, passport

**** Proof of residency: child's state identification, learner's permit, school transcript or school correspondence which has name and address

• The Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card is a SmarTrip card unique to Montgomery County.  As a SmarTrip card, added value can be purchased online ( or in person for use on Ride On, Metro, and other regional partner transit agencies.

• An additional charge of $2.25 in cash is required when taking Express Routes 70 and Metrobus J7 and J9, even during Kids Ride Free hours -- weekdays between 2 and 8 p.m. Students riding the Express Routes at other times must pay the express fare of $4.00 when using a SmarTrip card and $4.00 when paying cash.

• Kids Ride Free on Metrobus is limited to these routes: C2, C4, C8, D5, F4, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J7, J9, K6, K9, L8, Q1, Q2, Q4, Q5, Q6, T2, Y5, Y7, Y8, Y9, Z2, Z6, Z8, Z9, Z11, Z13, Z29

• Student bus rides at times other than weekdays between 2 and 8 p.m. require payment, either by cash or using the added value on a Youth Cruiser SmarTrip card.

Youth Cruiser passes allow those 18 and under to take Ride On at steeply discounted rates. (Youth Cruiser passes are not accepted on Metrobus.) The cost is $11 a month, good for unlimited rides. During the summer, a three-month pass costs only $18. The Summer Pass pays for itself in 10 rides.  This is a great value for kids and families. Monthly and summer passes are loaded electronically on to the card.

Youth Cruiser Monthly Pass and Summer Pass may be purchased at the:

• Silver Spring TRiPS Store, 8404 Colesville Road, Silver Spring;

• Friendship Heights TRiPS Store, 17 Wisconsin Circle; and

• Montgomery County Treasury Division, 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville

·    Certain Giant Food stores in Montgomery County. See list for details.

·    Certain CVS Pharmacy stores in Montgomery County. See list for details.

·    Certain other retail stores. See list for details. 



Montgomery County Libraries Partners With Ride On As Outlets for Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® Cards Available to Ride On Customers 5 to 18 years of age (older if still in high school)

Youth riders 18 years of age and under are able to purchase a Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® card at Montgomery County libraries. Proof of age and County residence are required to obtain a Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® card. Riders or their parents must obtain the card in person.  The young person does NOT have to be present to purchase the card. The cost is $2.  Proof of age and residency documents include birth certificates, passports, driver's license, any state issued ID, written correspondence from your child's school with the vital information.

Once riders have their Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® card, they can add stored value or passes to their card at certain locations (excluding libraries).  For special savings during the summer, youth riders can purchase a special Youth summer pass with unlimited rides on only Ride On from June 1 through August 31 for only $18.  Also, a Youth Monthly pass provides youth unlimited rides for only $11 a calendar month, a significant savings over regular fares.

Stored value can be added to the card for usage on Metrorail, Metrobus and other transit agencies that accept SmarTrip® cards.

In addition to Montgomery County Libraries, the Youth Cruiser SmarTrip® Card can be obtained at:

TRiPS Store 8404 Colesville Road, Silver Spring 240-773-8747

TRiPS Store 17 Wisconsin Circle, Friendship Heights 240-773-8747

Treasury Division 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville 240-777-8930

Select Schools (click on drop down for Schools)

Youth Summer Pass Update - GET YOURS NOW!

Get Yours NOW for $18 and enjoy unlimited rides on Ride On buses June 1st through August 31st this summer!  The summer pass is added electronically to the Youth Cruiser SmarTrip card.  It can be purchased at TRiPS Stores, the Montgomery County Treasury Office, CVS, Giant, and certain retail outlets.  See the lists below.


Do you want to put your video creation skills to the test? We’re looking for middle and high school students to help us spread the word about Ride On’s FREE and discounted kids programs by producing a fun and educational video about the Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card, the Monthly Pass, and the Summer Pass.


Send us your multimedia creation and you could win FREE bus passes for an entire year, Ride On gear, and the opportunity to have your video featured on the county’s website, Montgomery County Cable Television and Ride On’s YouTube channel!


Entries should be sent to or uploaded to by DATE TBD.


For more information, including the contest flyer, rules, and entry form, see the documents links below.

Entry Form

Each participant, even those who are submitting as group, must fill out and submit an entry form (link below).

Contest Period

The “Youth Cruiser SmarTrip card Video Contest” concludes at 11:59 p.m. EST DATE TBD. All entries must be submitted by the contest deadline. Late entries will not be accepted.


Any Montgomery County resident who is 18 years old or younger can participate.  Relatives of Montgomery County Department of Transportation employees are not eligible.

Contest Details

Videos must be 30 seconds to five (5) minutes in length, and should focus exclusively on the uses and benefits of the Youth Cruiser SmarTrip Card, the Youth Summer Pass and the Youth Monthly Pass. Entries can be submitted by an individual or a group of up to four people. All videos submitted must be free of any inappropriate language and images, sexual content or illegal activity, or proprietary images, logos, and trademarks.  Videos should contain a positive and educational message.

How to Enter

  1. Read the Contest Rules (link below), print and fill out an entry form (link below), scan it  and send it in along with the video.

  2. Create the video and name the file using the last name of each participant.

  3. Send the video and entry form directly to OR upload it to and “Share” the link with us by sending it to our email address.

Selection of Winners

Three (3) winning submissions will be selected and announced by mid May. All winners will be notified via the email addresses they provided in their entry forms. Videos will be judged on content, quality, captivation and originality.  Montgomery County reserves to itself the sole discretion to determine the winning submissions.


Prizes will be as follows:

Grand Prize/1st Place: Free Ride On bus pass(es) for a year, gift bag of Ride On gear, video posted to Montgomery County’s website and Ride On’s YouTube channel, and video shown on Youth Montgomery cable TV channel

2nd Place: Two Free Youth Monthly Passes, gift bag of Ride On gear, video posted to Ride On’s YouTube channel

3rd Place: Two Free Youth Monthly Passes, video posted to Ride On’s YouTube channel


All videos submitted, whether as a winning entry or not, will become the exclusive property of Montgomery County and may be broadcast, used, published or republished, in whole or in part, royalty free, in any printed or electronic media and in promotional material.


All entrants must, at the time of submission, be the sole authors and owners of the copyright of all videos entered into the contest. Upon entry, all rights in and to the videos become the exclusive property of Montgomery County, including all intellectual property rights including, but not limited to, copyright. Montgomery County reserves the right to alter the video in any manner deemed necessary for use in any promotional pieces.


All entries must be original, unpublished, and created solely by the submitting entrant(s) and not violate the intellectual property rights, copyright, or right of property of any third party. Videos which have been entered into other contests, or have been published elsewhere (newspapers, magazines, online, etc) are not eligible.

Contest Rules

Contest Entry Form

Contest Flyer (en Español)


For Questions, contact:


Transit Services · Montgomery County Department of Transportation · 240-777-5800 · Fax: 240-777-5801 · 101 Monroe St · 5th Floor · Rockville, Maryland 20850 ·
For any MCDOT service requests, call 311. Outside the county, call 240-777-0311 or submit via the website.   For website issues, broken links or comments, please email us(does not handle service requests).
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