STAR Program for LCS Student City Bus Riders
What is the STAR Program?
The Student Transportation for Academics and Responsibilities (STAR) Program is a StarMetro, City of Tallahassee, and Leon County Schools pilot program to encourage area students to use public transportation for school, work, and extracurricular activities, or other responsibilities free of charge by using your STAR Card.
StarMetro’s STAR Program (previously known as the Students Fare-Free Pilot Program) provides unaccompanied students in grades 6-12 within Leon County free transportation with a STAR Program Card AND a current signed agreement on file. The STAR Program will provide students in kindergarten through fifth grade within Leon County free transportation ONLY if the student is accompanied by a sixth grade or older sibling, legal guardian, or parental designee, has a STAR Program Card, AND a signed agreement on file.
The bus stop and public transportation system are considered an extension of the classroom and students are expected to observe the same code of discipline expected in the school classroom and on school buses. Please review all code and policy information on the agreement form.
How do students participate in the STAR Program?
Step 1: All Leon County Schools K-12 students (including charter schools) who wish to participate in the program must register for the program through Leon County Schools/Focus Parent Portal.
Don't have an acct and need help creating one? Visit https://www.leonschools.net/parentportal for guides.
Step 2: LCS will issue STAR Cards to students to be picked up at their school sites.
Step 3: Students can then begin riding StarMetro buses using their STAR Card.
Step 4: A student's STAR Card is active until graduation and does not need to be renewed. Star Cards issued last year / the 2021-2022 school year can be used for this year and until graduation.
When do I register my child for the STAR Program?
- You can register your student at any time during the school year.
- Students will be required to have a form on file and a valid STAR Program card by October 1, 2022. After that, if students do not have a card, they will be asked to pay the reduced student bus fare of $.60 cents with a valid student ID.
- Registration will remain open all school year. A STAR Card can be reissued in case of lost cards, but a parent must apply for the card again through the FOCUS Parent Portal.
How does a STAR card work?
STAR cards link students with valuable emergency contact and school information while riding a StarMetro bus.
These cards will be magnetic stripe cards, should have a picture of the student, and can be swiped at the farebox.
After filling out the online agreement form, students will receive their STAR Card as soon as possible from their school.
Tips to remember
If your child is new to riding StarMetro, here is a list of things to remember:
- Find the nearest route to your destination and locate timetables, View all route maps and tables or visit Talgov.com/FindMyBus to download the latest real-time bus locator and trip planning apps.
- Determine the time that the bus will arrive at your bus stop - your starting point. Be there at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- Once the bus arrives and comes to a complete stop - wait for passengers to exit and then board the bus through the front door only.
- When boarding (as a K-12 student), tell the driver you are a student and swipe your valid STAR card.
- Press the yellow tape or pull the yellow cord (near the window) to signal the bus driver that you wish to get off at the next stop when you get near your destination.
- Be sure to have all of your belongings with you and exit through the closest door.
- The bus stop and public transit are considered an extension of the classroom and students are expected to observe the same code of discipline expected in the school classroom and on school buses.
Need Help or Have Questions?
Please contact your school for more information about applying for the StarMetro STAR Card.
How can a student get a STAR card?
Students attending a Leon County School (including charter schools under LCS) fill out a program form and receive their card from LCS.
Students attending a non-Leon County School or who are homeschooled must fill out a program form and receive their card from StarMetro.
Once I request STAR card, how long will it take for me to get it?
STAR cards will be issued as soon as possible.
My child attends a Leon County school that is not within the StarMetro fixed route coverage area. Wi
Yes. Students with a valid STAR card will be able to ride StarMetro buses within its fixed route coverage area seven days a week.
If my child attends a school outside of the fixed route coverage area, will StarMetro take them to s
No. StarMetro does not provide fare-free rides to locations outside of the fixed route coverage area.
If my child uses the Lake Jackson FLEX or Southside FLEX services, will he/she be allowed to ride it
No. These are premium services. A discounted student FLEX rate of $0.60 each way is offered, however, with a valid student ID or STAR card.
If my child rides the Gadsden Express route, will he/she be allowed to ride it fare-free as well?
No. This is a premium service and will cost $1 each way.