Arlington County to require school bus passes for student riders

The Arlington County School District has an overcrowding problem on its hands.

But not in the classroom. It seems too many children are taking the school bus.

Now the school system will be requiring students to have special passes to ride the bus.

Requiring kids to show a paper pass to ride the school bus raises concerns of kids losing their passes.

But losing passes takes a back seat to the district's worry about safety and cost.

In November, a consultant's study suggested the bus pass solution to these problems: buses are overcrowded, young riders aren't tracked, and too many kids who are supposed to be walking to school are hopping the school bus.

Starting in September, the entire county is going to try to allow only bus riders with those passes at their assigned stops to ride the buses.

As the school population grows in Arlington County, the district's challenge is to handle the $10.5 million bus transportation cost.

To add just one bus, just one drive, would cost taxpayers $190,000.