Who and how can apply for a reduced travel pass in New York with a 50% discount

Who and how can apply for a reduced travel pass in New York with a 50% discount

On Sunday, August 20, the MTA fare hike went into effect, hitting the pockets of many New Yorkers. The good news is that all discounts for retirees and other beneficiaries will continue, according to NBC New York.

The base rail and bus fare is now $2.90, but a retiree or beneficiary will pay half as much if they participate in the program. If you are over 65, disabled, or on a low income, there are programs that can help you save on travel costs by getting discounts on your MetroCard.

What is a concessionary travel program

The discounted fare is $1.45 or half of the base fare ($2.90) on the subway and local buses. A reduced fare MetroCard is available for passengers with disabilities.

Disability Qualification:

  • Getting Medicare benefits for any reason other than age.
  • Serious mental illness and receiving Supplemental Security Income.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness or hearing loss.
  • Disability on ambulatory diseases.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Other physical handicaps.

If you already have a discounted rate MetroCard, you can upgrade to OMNY. Simply use the digital assistant to link your reduced fare to a smartphone with a digital wallet or a contactless card.

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How to apply for a reduced fare MetroCard

The application can be submitted online, by mail or in person. For clients who do not speak English or have limited knowledge of English, interpreter services are provided free of charge.

You can use OMNY when you receive a subway card with a reduced fare. Use your smartphone, handheld device, or contactless credit or debit card to travel at low fares and get free transfers.

How to apply online:

  • Fill out an online application here.
  • Upload a passport photo: it must be 5.08 cm by 3.8 cm.
  • Upload a copy of a valid proof of age ID.
  • Passengers with disabilities must upload a document confirming their disability.
  • Submit your application and documents.

Send a request by mail:

For people over 65

For people with disabilities

  • Attach a photo of a passport sample: it should be 5.08 cm by 3.8 cm in size.
  • Attach a copy of a valid ID as proof of age.
  • For passengers with disabilities – a document confirming the disability.
  • Submit your application and documents by mail to:

MTA New York City Transit
Att: Reduced Fare Program
130 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11201-9625

Need help or have questions? You can call 511. Say “MTA” then “Subways and Buses” and follow the prompts. If necessary, you can also use the free 711 telephone.

Apply in person:

  • You can come or make an appointment. For clients who do not speak English or have limited knowledge of English, interpreter services are provided free of charge.
  • The Customer Service Center is located at 3 Stone Street, New York, NY 10004.
  • Or apply in person on the MetroCard bus or van.
  • Please bring two valid IDs with you. One of them should be with a photo. There are free forms, help and photography.

Identification Requirements

To apply for a discount, you will need an ID. The MTA accepts the following forms of photo ID:

  • A valid driver’s license (or legal equivalent) from any state.
  • Valid passport of any country.
  • IDNYC.
  • Birth certificate + photo ID.
  • Medicare card + photo ID.
  • Valid state photo ID.

You can check your eligibility for Fair Fares NYC here.

Screenshot from nyc.gov

Where and when you can use the concession card:

  • In the subway and local buses at any time of the day.
  • By high-speed buses: at any time of the day, except for peak hours on weekdays – 6-10 am and 3-7 pm.
  • On the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North: Any time of the day except weekday morning rush hour to New York Terminals, 6 am to 10 am.

How it works

Upon acceptance of the program, participants will receive a special Fair Fares MetroCard by mail with no cost or expiration date. If you fill it with value and carry it through the turnstile, then half the regular subway fare will be automatically charged for one trip.

If members choose to add time to the card, such as when purchasing a weekly or monthly unlimited pass, they will be asked to pay half the regular price.

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