The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Student transit still needs awareness

Whether it be just a five-minute drive or an hour-long ride on the Metro, every student at Jackson-Reed makes their journey to school each morning. DCPS has done an effective job at providing low-cost and efficient methods of transportation for students across DC. However, many are left unaware of these opportunities due to Jackson-Reed’s lack of communication with its students.

Starting this school year, DCPS has taken a new initiative to improve student transportation. The District Department of Transportation partnered with Capital Bikeshare to make biking free for DCPS high school students. Students can now ride Bikeshare bikes for free, and ride e-bikes for just 10 cents per minute. 

This is incredibly beneficial for students looking to commute to school in a free, environmentally conscious way, or for those who just want to enjoy a nice, scenic exercise. However, Jackson-Reed should do more to make students aware of these opportunities. 

Although JR announced that interested students should attend a mandatory training to gain access to the Bikeshare, that was the only form of communication, leaving many students unaware of the opportunity.

A large amount of JR’s student body utilizes public transit as a means of transport and the Kids Ride Free cards is another way students are able to utilize these transportation services for free throughout the academic year. The KRF program allows students to ride for free on Metrobus, Metrorail, and the DC Circulator. At the beginning of each school year, the cards quickly gain popularity, with lines forming in the atrium as students eagerly await their cards. 

Despite being a great option, students often become discouraged due to the long lines and repetitive announcements stating the school is running low on cards. Eventually after the beginning of the first term, the sign-up sheets disappear and announcements fade out. At this point in the year, the process of getting a Kids Ride Free card is relatively unknown. 

As the school institutes methods to make transportation easier for students to get to and from school, programs such as Capital Bikeshare and Kids Ride Free cards are not advertised enough. Students are often not aware of the free transportation opportunities that JR provides, as it has only been discussed briefly on the morning announcements, but not around the school.

If Jackson-Reed were to find more effective ways to advertise and communicate, students would be more inclined to take advantage of the free opportunities for transportation to school.

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