So many things that we think are for pedestrians, bicycles, or even education, are actually for cars. Because the US is so sprawled out and devoid of public transit, school districts have to support expensive school bus service. In the city, that sprawl subsidy is not so necessary.
WaPo: Because the District doesn’t have a fleet of yellow school buses, students ride public transit free. Still, they have to tap their DC One cards to board Metrorail or buses so the city can monitor how many are using the system, which helps the agency qualify for more federal funding.