Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2. Street Railways and Bus Lines.


Subchapter I. General.

§ 35–201. Competitive lines on fixed routes and schedules; certificate of convenience and necessity required.

No competitive street railway or bus line, that is, bus or railway line for the transportation of passengers of the character which runs over a given route on a fixed schedule, shall be established without the prior issuance of a certificate by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia to the effect that the competitive line is necessary for the convenience of the public.


(Jan. 14, 1933, 47 Stat. 760, ch. 10, § 4; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-201.

1973 Ed., § 44-201.


§ 35–202. Furnishing sufficient cars, power, equipment, appliances and service required; rules and regulations; penalties for violation.

Every street railroad company or corporation owning, controlling, leasing or operating 1 or more street railroads within the District of Columbia shall on each and all of its railroads supply and operate a sufficient number of cars, clean, sanitary, in good repair, with proper and safe power, equipment, appliances and service, comfortable and convenient, and so operate the same as to give expeditious passage, not to exceed 15 miles per hour within the city limits or 20 miles per hour in the suburbs, to all persons desirous of the use of the said cars, without crowding said cars. The Public Service Commission is hereby given power to require and compel obedience to all of the provisions of this section, and to make, alter, amend and enforce all needful rules and regulations to secure said obedience; and said Commission is given power to make all such orders and regulations necessary to the exercise of the powers herein granted to it as may be reasonable and proper; and such railroad companies or corporations, their officers and employees, are hereby required to obey all the provisions of this section, and such regulations and orders as may be made by said Commission. Any such company or corporation, or its officers or employees, violating any provision of this section, or any of the said orders or regulations made by said Commission, or permitting such violation, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000. And each day of failure or neglect on the part of such company or corporation, its officers or employees, to obey each and all of the provisions and requirements of this section, or the orders and regulations of the Commission made thereunder, shall be regarded as a separate offense.


(May 23, 1908, 35 Stat. 250, ch. 190, § 16; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-202.

1973 Ed., § 44-202.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-203.


§ 35–203. Prosecutions to be on information.

Prosecutions for violations of any of the provisions of §§ 35-202, 35-206, and 35-207 shall be on information of the Corporation Counsel filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by or on behalf of the District of Columbia.


(May 23, 1908, 35 Stat. 250, ch. 190, § 17; Mar. 4, 1913, 37 Stat. 995, ch. 150, § 8; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Oct. 21, 2000, D.C. Law 13-187, § 2(b), 47 DCR 7073.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-203.

1973 Ed., § 44-203.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-187 substituted for “Public Service Commission” the phrase “Corporation Counsel” and for the phrase “the Commission” the phrase “the District of Columbia”.


§ 35–204. Fenders required on street cars.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to make and to enforce all reasonable regulations in respect to requiring street cars operated by other means than horsepower in the District of Columbia to be provided with proper fenders for the protection of the lives and limbs of all persons within the District of Columbia. Such power and authority shall extend to the adoption by the said Mayor of any fender or fenders deemed by him to be superior to the fenders now in use as the fender or fenders which shall be used on cars operated within said District; provided, that nothing contained in this section shall operate to relieve any street-railway company from liability for accidents on its lines.


(Aug. 7, 1894, 28 Stat. 250, ch. 232.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-204.

1973 Ed., § 44-204.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 35–205. Glass vestibules required for street car motormen; penalties; exception. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Mar. 3, 1905, 33 Stat. 1001, ch. 1434; Apr. 29, 2004, D.C. Law 15-154, § 10, 50 DCR 10996.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-205.

1973 Ed., § 44-205.


§ 35–206. Construction of duct lines authorized.

The Anacostia and Potomac River Railroad Company, the Washington Railway and Electric Company, the City and Suburban Railway Company, and the Capital Traction Company are hereby permitted to lay duct lines on such streets as may be necessary for the proper operation of their lines, the location of such duct lines to be approved by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the cost thereof shall be borne and paid solely by said street-railway companies, and they shall be solely liable for all damages to persons and property occasioned by any construction or work authorized by this section.


(May 23, 1908, 35 Stat. 247, ch. 190, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-206.

1973 Ed., § 44-206.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-203.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 35–207. Unlawful disposition, acceptance and use of transfers.

No transfer ticket or written or printed instrument giving or purporting to give the right of transfer to any person or persons from a rail transit car or from a public passenger vehicle with a capacity for seating 12 or more, owed or operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which is transporting passengers in regular route service within the corporate limits of the city, shall be issued, sold, or given except to a passenger lawfully entitled thereto. Any person who shall issue, sell, or give away such a transfer ticket or instrument as aforesaid to a person or persons not lawfully entitled thereto, and any person or persons not lawfully entitled thereto who shall receive and use or offer for passage any such transfer ticket or instrument to another with intent to have such transfer ticket used or offered for passage shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $25.


(May 23, 1908, 35 Stat. 250, ch. 190, § 15; Oct. 21, 2000, D.C. Law 13-187, § 2(a), 47 DCR 7073.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-207.

1973 Ed., § 44-207.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-203.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-187 rewrote the first sentence which formerly provided: “No transfer ticket or written or printed instrument giving or purporting to give the right of transfer to any person or persons from a public conveyance operated upon 1 line or route of a street railroad or from 1 car to another car upon the line of any street railroad, shall be issued, sold, or given except to a passenger lawfully entitled thereto.”


§ 35–208. Reciprocal transfer and trackage agreements.

Every street railway in the District of Columbia whose lines connect, or whose lines may, after August 2, 1894, connect, with the lines of any other street-railway company, is hereby required to make reciprocal transfer arrangements with such street-railway companies, and to furnish such facilities therefor as the public convenience may require, and to enter into reciprocal trackage arrangements with such connecting roads. The schedules and compensation shall be mutually agreed upon between the said railway companies, and in case of failure to reach such mutual agreement, the matter in dispute shall be determined by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, upon petition filed by either party.


(Aug. 2, 1894, 28 Stat. 218, ch. 189, § 5; June 25, 1936, 49 Stat. 1921, ch. 804; June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 991, ch. 646, § 32(b); May 24, 1949, 63 Stat. 107, ch. 139, § 127; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 572, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(c)(40).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-208.

1973 Ed., § 44-208.


§ 35–209. Type of rails required.

No other rail than a flat grooved rail made level with the surface of the streets upon each side of the tracks or roadbeds, so that no obstruction shall be presented to vehicles passing over said tracks, shall be laid by any street railway company in the streets of Washington; provided, that the foregoing requirements as to rails and roadbed shall not apply to street railroads outside the City of Washington.


(Mar. 2, 1889, 25 Stat. 797, ch. 370; Feb. 11, 1895, 28 Stat. 650, ch. 79.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-209.

1973 Ed., § 44-209.


§ 35–210. Use of another’s underground line prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any street-railway company operating its system or parts of its system over any portion of the underground electric lines owned and operated by another street-railway company in the City of Washington to continue such operation, or to enter into reciprocal trackage relations with any other company, unless its motive power for the propulsion of its cars shall be the same as that of the company whose tracks are used or to be used. For every violation of §§ 35-210 to 35-212 the company violating it shall be subject to a fine of $10 for every car operated in violation of the provisions of §§ 35-210 to 35-212, said fine to be collected and applied in the same manner as is provided by § 35-211.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1302, ch. 854, § 711.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-210.

1973 Ed., § 44-210.


§ 35–211. Removal of disused tracks; penalty for noncompliance.

Whenever the track or tracks, or any part thereof, of any street-railway company in the District of Columbia shall not have been regularly operated for railway purposes upon a schedule as required by its charter for a period of 3 months, the Mayor of said District, in his discretion, may thereupon notify such company to remove said unused tracks and to place the street in good condition; and if such company shall neglect or refuse to remove said tracks and place the street in good condition within 60 days after such notice, the said company shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be liable to a fine of $10 for each and every day during which said tracks are permitted to remain upon the street or streets, or said roadway shall remain out of repair, which fine shall be recovered in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, in the name of said District, as other fines and penalties are recovered in said Court.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1302, ch. 854, § 710; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 534, ch. 1329; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-211.

1973 Ed., § 44-211.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-210.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 35–212. Free transfer under reciprocal trackage agreement.

All street-railway companies within the District of Columbia on January 1, 1902, operating their systems, or parts of their systems, in the City of Washington by use of the tracks of 1 or more of such companies, under a reciprocal trackage agreement, which shall be compelled to discontinue the use of the tracks of another company, shall issue free transfers to their patrons from 1 system to the other at such junctions of their respective lines as may be provided for by the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1302, ch. 854, § 712.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-212.

1973 Ed., § 44-212.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 35–213. Free transportation of uniformed policemen and firemen. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Sept. 1, 1916, 39 Stat. 683, ch. 433; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 46, 36 DCR 492.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-213.

1973 Ed., § 44-213.


§ 35–214. Reduced fares for school children.

Expired.


(Feb. 25, 1931, 46 Stat. 1419, ch. 302.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-214.

Editor's Notes

The Act of February 25, 1931, 46 Stat. 1419, ch. 302, formerly codified as this section, became inoperative upon acceptance of the agreement between the Capital Traction Company and the Washington Railway and Electric Company for unification under the Act of January 14, 1933, 47 Stat. 759, ch. 10.


§ 35–215. Annual reports to Congress.

Every street-railroad corporation in the District of Columbia, and every such corporation which shall be organized after June 10, 1896, shall, on or before the 1st day of February in each year, make a report to each the Senate and the House of Representatives, which report shall be sworn to and signed by the president and treasurer of such corporation, and shall cover the period of 1 year ending the 31st day of December previous to the date of making the report. Such report shall state the amount of capital stock, with a list of the stockholders and the amount of stock held by each; the amount of capital stock paid in; the total amount now of funded debt; the amount of floating debt; the average rate per annum of interest on funded debt; amount of dividends declared; cost of roadbed and superstructure, including iron; cost of land, buildings, and fixtures, including land damages; cost of cars, horses, harness, and motors and other machinery; total cost of road and equipment; length of road in miles; length of double track, including sidings; weight of rail, by yard; the number of cars and of horses; the number of motors; the total number of passengers carried in cars; the average time consumed by passenger cars in passing over the road; repairs of roadbed and railway, including iron, and repairs of buildings and fixtures; total cost of maintaining road and real estate; cost of general superintendence; salaries of officers, clerks, agents, and office expenses; wages paid conductors, drivers, engineers, and motor men; water and other taxes; damages to persons and property, including medical attendance; rents, including use of other roads; total expense of operating road, and repairs; receipts from passengers; receipts from all other sources, specifying what, in detail; total receipts from all sources during the year; payments for maintenance and repairs; payments for interest; payments for dividends on stock, amount and rate per centum; total payments during the year; the number of persons injured in life and limb; the cause of the injury, and whether to passengers, employees, or other persons.


(June 10, 1896, 29 Stat. 320, ch. 395, § 10.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-222.

1973 Ed., § 44-215.


Subchapter II. Student Fares.

§ 35–231. Fixed rate for schoolchildren not over 18 years of age; formula for adjusting and payment of fare subsidy. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 9, 1955, 69 Stat. 616, ch. 680, § 1; June 28, 1962, 76 Stat. 113, Pub. L. 87-507, § 1(2); Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21; Oct. 18, 1968, 82 Stat. 1187, Pub. L. 90-605, § 1; Aug. 11, 1971, 85 Stat. 315, Pub. L. 92-90; Aug. 14, 1974, 88 Stat. 446, Pub. L. 93-375, § 1; Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-215.

1973 Ed., § 44-214a.


§ 35–232. Subsidy agreement.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for the transportation, at reduced fares, of students going to and from public, parochial, and private schools and to and from related educational activities in the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-216.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-237.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 2-152, the School Transit Subsidy Act of 1978, see Mayor’s Order 90-130, October 2, 1990.

Delegation of Authority to the Director of the District Department of Transportation, see Mayor’s Order 2006-104, July 28, 2006 ( 53 DCR 6399).


§ 35–233. Validity of reduced fares; requirements for eligibility.

(a)(1) On regular school days, no student shall be charged a bus fare for regular route transportation within the District during peak and off-peak hours on the Metrobus Transit System and the DC Circulator.

(2) The fare to be paid by a student on regular school days for regular route transportation during peak and off-peak hours on the Metrorail Transit System within the District shall be as follows:

(A) $30 dollars for a monthly pass; and

(B) $9.50 for a 10-trip rail pass.

(3) The fares listed in paragraph(2) of this subsection shall be modified by the same percentage as future Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority fare increases or decreases, rounded to the nearest dime ($.10).

(b)(1) This reduced student fare shall be valid only for transportation of students going to and from public, parochial, and private schools, and to and from related educational activities in the District of Columbia on school days.

(2) Student travel on Metrobus and Metrorail during Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and vacations shall be charged at the regular rate charged to passengers other than students and senior citizens, except for travel to and from a recognized school-related educational activity in the District of Columbia. The Mayor shall issue rules and regulations to enforce this section.

(c) Reduced fares for students under this section on the Metrobus and Metrorail Transit Systems and the DC Circulator shall be available only to persons who are under 22 years of age and are:

(1)(A) District residents; and

(B) Currently enrolled in a regular course of instruction at an elementary or secondary public, parochial, or private school located in the District; or

(2) Youth in the District’s foster care system until they reach 21 years of age.

(d) Reduced fares for students on the Metrorail Transit System shall be available only to persons who possess a valid student Metrorail discount card.

(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the fare to be paid by students on regular school days for regular route transportation during peak and off-peak hours on the Metrobus Transit System and on the Metrorail Transit System shall be $.15 from September 26, 1981, until December 31, 1981.

(f)(1) Youth in the District’s foster care system shall be eligible for a foster-youth transit-subsidy program (“Program”) as established by the Mayor until they reach 21 years of age.

(2) The Program shall allow qualified foster youth to travel on Metrobus, Metrorail, and public transportation services offered by the District at subsidized or reduced fares.

(3) The subsidized or reduced foster-youth fare set forth in this subsection shall be valid only for the transportation of foster youth for educational or employment purposes.

(g)(1) Participants in the Summer Youth Employment Program (“SYEP”) administered by the Department of Employment Services pursuant to § 32-241 shall be eligible for a summer youth transit subsidy program (“Program”) as established by the Mayor.

(2) The Program shall allow qualified SYEP participants to travel on Metrobus, Metrorail, and public transportation services offered by the District at subsidized or reduced fares.

(3) The subsidized or reduced fares established pursuant to this subsection shall be valid only for the transportation of SYEP participants to and from their internships and related activities for the first 3 weeks of the summer 2015 SYEP.

(h)(1) Subject to available funds, the Mayor may establish a program for students to receive subsidies for the Metrorail and Metrobus Transit System and the DC Circulator that would supplement the reduced student fares established by this section.

(2) To be eligible for the program, a student shall be:

(A) A resident of the District of Columbia under 22 years of age; and

(B) Enrolled in a District of Columbia public school or public charter school at the 12th grade or lower or enrolled in an alternative, adult, or special education District of Columbia public school or public charter school.

(3) The Mayor shall require each student, student’s parent or guardian, or student’s school counselor to file an application to participate in the program.

(4) The subsidy benefit shall be distributed by fare card or similar medium acceptable to the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority.

(5) The transit subsidy established by this subsection shall be capped at $100 per month per student.

(6) Repealed.

(7) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the program authorized by this subsection may also provide subsidies for Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator fares for travel to employment or job training sites.

(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Mayor may implement the program authorized by this subsection through the issuance of a fare card or similar medium acceptable to the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority that allows for subsidized Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator travel for purposes other than those described in this subsection, if the Mayor determines that such a fare card or similar medium will enhance the efficiency or effectiveness of the program or alleviate administrative issues encountered, or likely to be encountered, by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in the administration of the program.

(i)(1) Subject to available funds, the Mayor shall establish a program for students of adult learning programs to receive subsidies for the Metrorail and Metrobus Transit Systems.

(2) To be eligible for the program, a student shall be:

(A) Above 18 years of age;

(B) A District resident; and

(C) Enrolled in a publicly funded adult education program that is operated by or receives funding from at least one of the following:

(i) A local education agency, including the District of Columbia Public Schools or a public charter school;

(ii) The District of Columbia Public Library;

(iii) The Office of the State Superintendent for Education; or

(iv) The University of the District of Columbia Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning Program.

(3) Repealed.

(4)(A) At the end of each fiscal year, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shall retain any unspent funds received from the District pursuant to this subsection and apply such fund balance in the following fiscal year toward the adult learner transit subsidy program authorized by this subsection.

(B) Beginning October 1, 2019, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shall provide a report to the Mayor and Council on the use of program funds and the projected fund balance for the fiscal year on a quarterly basis.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534; Sept. 26, 1981, D.C. Law 4-33, § 2(a), (b), 28 DCR 3187; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 815, 42 DCR 3684; Oct. 7, 1998, D.C. Law 12-156, § 2, 45 DCR 4617; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 6082, 59 DCR 8025; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, §§ 2112, 10003, 60 DCR 12472; June 26, 2014, D.C. Law 20-117, §§ 7, 8(c), 61 DCR 2032; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 2052, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 6192, 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, §§ 7022(c), 7027, 63 DCR 10775; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7122, 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 6042, 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-217.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.2.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-234, § 35-235, and § 35-236.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 added (c)(4); and made related changes.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 rewrote (a) and (c); and added (f).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-117 repealed D.C. Law 20-61, § 10003; rewrote (a) and (c); and added (g).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 added (g).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added (h).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6042 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6042 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7122 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of section 6193 of D.C. Law 21-36 that had provided that section 6192 of Law 21-36 (which added (h)) would expire on September 30, 2016., see § 7072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7122 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of section 6193 of D.C. Law 21-36 that had provided that section 6192 of Law 21-36 (which added (h)) would expire on September 30, 2016., see § 7072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Foster Youth Transit Subsidy Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-65, May 11, 2013, 60 DCR 7228, 20 DCSTAT 1414).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2 to 4 of the School Transit Subsidy Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-145, July 31, 2013, 60 DCR 11805, 20 DCSTAT 1996).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2 and 3 of the School Transit Subsidy Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-203, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15339).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2112 and 10003 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2112 and 10003 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6192 and 6193 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§  2(b) and 5 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-164, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13734).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 9 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-292, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1211).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Foster Youth Transit Subsidy Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-20, October 3, 2013, 60 DCR 10876).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2 and 3 of the School Transit Subsidy Temporary Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-43, December 5, 2013, 60 DCR 14718).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 11 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-76, Feb. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 264).

Short Title

Section 2111 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle L of Title II of the act may be cited as the “Foster Youth Transit Subsidy Amendment Act of 2013”.

Section 10001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Title X of the act may be cited as the “Revised Revenue Estimate Adjustment Allocation Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Section 7072(b) of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed section 6193 of D.C. Law 21-36 that had provided that section 6192 of Law 21-36 (which added (h)) would expire on September 30, 2016.

Section 7022(c) of D.C. Law 21-160 replaced the date "September 30, 2016" with the date "September 30, 2017" in § 6193 of D.C. Law 21-36.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-117: Section 18 of D.C. Law 20-117 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.

Section 6193 of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that § 6192 the act (which added (h)) shall expire on September 30, 2016.


§ 35–234. Tokens and tickets; certification of eligibility required.

(a) Student fare tokens and tickets shall be issued by the Mayor of the District of Columbia only to students who present a certification of eligibility to use the Metrobus Transit System issued by an authorized school official.

(b) Certifications of eligibility shall be issued only to those students who meet the eligibility requirements imposed by subsection (c) of § 35-233 and shall contain such additional information as the Mayor may require. The Mayor is authorized to verify information contained in certifications of eligibility.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534; Sept. 26, 1981, D.C. Law 4-33, § 2(c), 28 DCR 3187.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-218.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.3.


§ 35–235. Metrorail discount cards; factors determining need in use of transit system.

(a) Student Metrorail discount cards shall be issued by the Mayor of the District of Columbia only to those students who:

(1) Present a certification of eligibility to use the Metrorail Transit System issued by an authorized school official; and

(2) Have a need to use the Metrorail Transit System as determined by the Mayor.

(b) Certifications of eligibility shall be issued only to those students who meet the eligibility requirements imposed by subsection (c) of § 35-233 and shall contain such additional information as the Mayor may require. The Mayor is authorized to verify information contained in certifications of eligibility.

(c) In determining need pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Mayor shall consider appropriate indices of the student’s need to use the Metrorail Transit System for transportation to and from school and related educational activities in the District of Columbia, including the proximity of the student’s residence to his school, the proximity of the student’s residence and school to Metrorail stations and the student’s participation in city-wide education programs, work-study programs, inter-school extracurricular activities and other similar education and extracurricular activity programs.

(d) Student Metrorail discount cards shall:

(1) Bear the name of the student, an expiration date and such other information as the Mayor may require;

(2) Be displayed by the student when purchasing Metrorail student farecards;

(3) Be signed by the student immediately upon receipt; and

(4) Be nontransferable.

(e) Metrorail student farecards shall:

(1) Be signed by the student immediately upon purchase; and

(2) Be nontransferable.

(f) No person, other than the person for whose use such farecard is issued, shall use a student Metrorail farecard to ride on a Metrorail train and any such other use is hereby prohibited.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-219.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.4.


§ 35–236. Subsidy payments authorized; audit; interest credit for advance payment.

(a) The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shall certify to the Mayor, as soon as practicable, following the end of each calendar month:

(1) The amount that is the difference between the total number of all Metrobus student fare tickets or tokens collected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during such calendar month for the transportation of students on the Metrobus Transit System times the average of the regular single trip Metrobus fare charged within the District of Columbia during the peak and off-peak hours, or such other amount as may hereinafter be agreed to by the Mayor and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, pursuant to a student passenger survey or other appropriate method, and the total of all such Metrobus student fare tickets or tokens sold during such calendar month times the reduced student fare as determined in § 35-233.

(2) The amount that is the difference between the total of all fares that would have been paid to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during such calendar month by students for transportation on the Metrorail System, if such fares had been paid at the otherwise applicable regular adult Metrorail fare for each trip made by students during that month, and the total of all money collected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority during such calendar month in connection with the sale of Metrorail student farecards.

(b) The Mayor, upon receiving any such certification, shall pay the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, subject to an audit acceptable to the Mayor, the amounts contained therein. The Mayor is authorized to make advance subsidy payments to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; provided, that the District of Columbia shall receive an appropriate interest credit from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for each such advance payment; and provided further, that the exercise of such authority shall not affect the certification and audit requirements.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534; Sept. 26, 1981, D.C. Law 4-33, § 2(d), 28 DCR 3187.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-220.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.5.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 9-1111.15.


§ 35–237. Rules and regulations.

The Mayor shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out §§ 35-232 to 35-237, including rules and regulations relating to the maximum number of Metrobus student fare tokens and Metrorail student farecards that may be purchased by an eligible student at any 1 time or during a specific period of time, and relating to the use or the prohibition of use of fare tokens, tickets and farecards for the transportation of students going to and from school programs and related activities held in the District of Columbia on weekends and holidays.


(Mar. 6, 1979, D.C. Law 2-152, § 2, 25 DCR 2534; Sept. 26, 1981, D.C. Law 4-33, § 2(e), 28 DCR 3187.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-221.

1973 Ed., § 44-214.6.


Subchapter III. Passenger Conduct.

§ 35–251. Unlawful conduct on public passenger vehicles.

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “rail transit station” means a regular rail stopping place for the pick-up and discharge of passengers in regular route service, contract service, special or community-type service, including the fare-paid areas and roofed areas of the rail transit stations (not bus terminals or bus stops) owned, operated, or controlled by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA"); provided, that the term “rail transit station” shall not include parking lots, roadways and other areas intended for vehicle traffic.

(b) It is unlawful for any person, either while aboard a public passenger vehicle for hire with a capacity for seating 12 or more passengers, including vehicles owned or operated by WMATA, or while aboard a rail transit car owned or operated by WMATA, or while within a rail transit station owned or operated by WMATA, to:

(1) Smoke or carry a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar, or cigarette;

(2) Consume food or beverages;

(3) Spit;

(4) Discard litter;

(5) Play any radio, musical instrument, or similar device, unless it is connected to an earphone that limits the sound to the individual user;

(6) Carry any flammable or combustible liquids, explosives, acids, or similar items inherently dangerous or offensive to others;

(7) Carry any animals, except for guide dogs properly harnessed and small animals properly contained;

(8) Stand in front of the line marked on the forward end of the floor of any bus or otherwise conduct themselves in such a manner as to obstruct the vision of the operator;

(9) Operate or chain to any fence, tree, railing, or other structure not specifically designated for such use, skateboards, rollerblades, roller skates, non-motorized scooters, bicycles, tricycles, or unicycles; or

(10) Park, operate, carry, wheel, or chain to any fence, tree, railing, or other structure not specifically designated for such use, mopeds, motorbikes, or any similar vehicle.

(c) It is unlawful for any person, while aboard a rail transit car, knowingly to cause the doors of any rail transit car to open by activating a safety device designed to allow emergency evacuation of passengers. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this subsection that the person charged believed, in good faith, that the action was necessary to protect people from injury or death.

(d) It is unlawful for any person at a rail transit station to stop, impede, interfere with, or tamper with an escalator or elevator or any part of an escalator or elevator apparatus or to use an escalator or elevator emergency stop button, unless this action is taken by a person with the knowledge or the reasonable good faith belief that an emergency makes the action necessary to preserve or protect human life or property, or unless such action is taken by a WMATA employee, other government employees, or WMATA contractor acting pursuant to their official duties.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-18, § 2, 22 DCR 1994; Feb. 22, 1978, D.C. Law 2-40, § 2(a), 24 DCR 3344; Sept. 18, 1981, D.C. Law 4-31, § 2, 28 DCR 3120; June 29, 1984, D.C. Law 5-91, § 3(a), 31 DCR 2539; Oct. 1, 1992, D.C. Law 9-171, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5831; May 3, 2019, D.C. Law 22-310, § 4(a), 66 DCR 1395.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 44-223.

1973 Ed., § 44-216.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1701, § 7-1710, § 35-253, and § 35-254.


§ 35–252. Failure to pay fare or to present valid transfer; entry by rear door prohibited.

Except in emergency circumstances, no person shall knowingly:

(1) Take the following actions without paying the established fare or presenting a valid transfer:

(A) Board a public or private passenger vehicle for hire, including vehicles owned or operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA");

(B) Board a rail transit car owned or operated by WMATA; or

(C) Enter or leave the fare-paid area of a rail transit station owned or operated by WMATA; or

(2) Board a public or private passenger vehicle for hire, including vehicles owned or operated by WMATA, through the rear exit door, unless so directed by an employee or agent of the carrier.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-18, § 3; as added, Feb. 22, 1978, D.C. Law 2-40, § 2(c), 24 DCR 3344; May 3, 2019, D.C. Law 22-310, § 4(b), 66 DCR 1395.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 35-216.

1981 Ed., § 44-224.

1973 Ed., § 44-216.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-253 and § 35-254.


§ 35–253. Carrier authorized to refuse transportation to violators.

A carrier may refuse to transport a person or persons whose immediately observed conduct or behavior would constitute a violation of § 35-251 or § 35-252.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-18, § 4, formerly § 3, 22 DCR 1995; renumbered, Feb. 22, 1978, D.C. Law 2-40, § 2(b), 24 DCR 3344.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 35-252.

1981 Ed., § 44-225.

1973 Ed., § 44-217.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-251.


§ 35–254. Penalties.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b)(1) of this section, a violation of § 35-251(b) or § 35-252 shall be punishable by a civil fine of not more than $50.

(b)(1) A violation of section § 35-251(b)(6), (c) or (d) shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $300, imprisonment of not more than 90 days, not fewer than 30 hours of community service, or a combination of any 2 penalties, except that imprisonment and community service shall not be imposed together.

(2) The fine set forth in this subsection shall not be limited by Chapter 35B of Title 22.

(3) All prosecutions under this subsection shall be brought by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.


(Sept. 23, 1975, D.C. Law 1-18, § 5, formerly § 4, 22 DCR 1995; renumbered, Feb. 22, 1978, D.C. Law 2-40, § 2(b), 24 DCR 3344; June 29, 1984, D.C. Law 5-91, § 3(b), 31 DCR 2539; Oct. 1, 1992, D.C. Law 9-171, § 2(b), 39 DCR 5831; May 3, 2019, D.C. Law 22-310, § 4(c), 66 DCR 1395.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 35-253.

1981 Ed., § 44-226.

1973 Ed., § 44-218.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 35-251.


Subchapter III-A. Notice of Enhanced Penalties.

§ 35–261. Notice of enhanced penalties for commission of offenses against transit operators and Metrorail station managers.

(a)(1) The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shall post or otherwise provide conspicuous notice of the enhanced penalties for the commission of certain offenses against transit operators and Metrorail station managers in the District of Columbia pursuant to § 22-3751.01 on all Metrobus buses and Metrorail trains operating in the District of Columbia, and at or near all Metrorail station kiosks within the District of Columbia.

(2) The Mayor shall post or otherwise provide similar notice on all DC Circulator buses.

(b) The absence of notice on a vehicle or at a Metrorail station required under this section shall not constitute a defense to or otherwise invalidate or prevent the imposition of the enhanced penalties provided in § 22-3751.01.


(July 23, 2008, D.C. Law 17-206, § 4, 55 DCR 5168.)


Subchapter IV. Merger of Street Railways.

§ 35–271. Merger of street railways permitted.

Any or all of the street railway companies operating in the District of Columbia are hereby authorized and empowered to merge or consolidate, either by purchase or lease by 1 company of the properties, and/or stocks or securities of any of the others, or by the formation of a new corporation to acquire the properties and/or stocks or securities and to succeed to the powers and obligations of each or any of said companies under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by a vote of a majority in amount of the stock of the respective corporations and as may be approved by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia; provided, that no merger of said companies shall be finally consummated until the same is approved by a joint resolution of Congress. Such new corporation shall be incorporated under the provisions of Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Title 29, as far as applicable, with issues of stock at a stated par value and/or of no par value, as may be approved by the Public Service Commission. Congress reserves the right to alter, amend, or repeal this section or any provision thereof.


(Mar. 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 1265, ch. 527, §§ 1, 3; Aug. 30, 1964, 78 Stat. 634, Pub. L. 88-503, § 21; July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 3(aa), 58 DCR 1720.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-803.

1973 Ed., § 43-503.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-378, in subsec. (a)(1), substituted “Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Title 29” for “Chapter 3 of Title 29”.

Cross References

Street railways and bus lines, certificate of convenience and necessity, see § 35-201.

Utility issuance of securities, reorganization or consolidation by stock issuance, see § 34-504.