All kids under the age of 12 will soon be able to ride the Fairfax Connector for free.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday (Tuesday) to change the bus system’s policy to allow any child 12 or younger to ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
The vote closes a gap in the county’s transit policy that left children between ages 5 and 12 paying for bus fare, while younger kids and high school students can ride for free.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn said the change is part of an ongoing effort to expand the number of riders who can ride Fairfax Connector fare-free — without going fully free like neighboring Alexandria.
“This is a nice step forward,” said Alcorn. “…As we move forward with identifying populations that really should get free fare, we should do that, and just as a reminder, we have some other things coming in terms of reduced fare. So, this is one of a number of initiatives we’re doing in terms of our bus fare strategy.”
Chairman Jeff McKay said one of the long-term benefits of getting more children riding Fairfax Connector is familiarizing a new generation with mass transit.
“This is great,” McKay said. “Not only is it for people who need it — in this case it’s free fare for children — but we’re also building a population and educating a population on how to use mass transit. It’s an investment in the future, and we’ve certainly seen that with the student bus pass program.
Calling the new policy “fantastic,” he thanked county staff for proposing the change and “the speed at which they got this to the Board for approval.”
The new policy will take effect on May 1.
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