How to request a 50% discount on the price of the MetroCard
The MTA's fare increase went into effect Sunday, dealing a hit to the pockets of many New Yorkers. The good news is that all discounts for seniors and other reduced-rate customers will continue.
The base fare for the local rail and bus system is now $2.90, but a senior or eligible transit rider would pay half that, or $1.45, if they enroll in the program.
Here's how to get MetroCard discounts.
RATE DISCOUNT PROGRAMS
If you are over 65, have a disability, or have a low income, there are programs that can help you save on travel.
WHAT IS THE REDUCED FARE PROGRAM?
The reduced fare is $1.45, or half the base fare ($2.90) for the subway and local buses.
A reduced fare MetroCard is available for passengers who use mobility aids or have service animals.
If you already have a reduced fare MetroCard, you can switch to OMNY. Simply use the digital assistant to link your reduced fare benefit to your digital wallet-enabled smartphone or contactless card.
- Receive Medicare benefits for any reason other than age.
- Serious mental illness and receiving Supplemental Security Income.
- Deafness or Hearing Loss.
- Ambulatory disability.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Other physical disability
HOW TO APPLY FOR REDUCED FARE METROCARD
You can apply online, by mail, or in person. For clients who do not speak English or have limited English proficiency, interpreter services are available free of charge.
Once you have a reduced fare MetroCard, you can tap and ride OMNY. Use your smartphone, handheld device, or contactless credit or debit card for low-fare rides and free transfers.
The application is free.
- Apply online
- Complete an online application here.
- Upload a passport-style photo: Must be 2 inches by 1.5 inches.
- Upload a copy of a valid ID as proof of age.
- For passengers with disabilities, please upload proof of a qualifying disability.
- Submit your application and documents.
- Request by mail
- Download and complete an application:
- Include a passport-style photo: It must be 2 inches by 1.5 inches.
- Include a copy of a valid ID as proof of age.
- For passengers with disabilities, include proof of a qualifying disability.
- Mail application and documents to:
MTA New York City Transit
Att: Reduced Fare Program
130 Livingston Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201-9625
- Need help or have questions?: You can call 511. Say "MTA," then say "Metro and Buses" and follow the prompts. You can also use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay if you need to.
- Apply in person
- You can drop by or make an appointment. For clients who do not speak English or have limited English proficiency, interpreter services are available free of charge.
- The customer service center is located at: 3 Stone Street
New York, NY 10004
- Or apply for the discount in person on a MetroCard Bus or Van. Here are the schedules.
- Bring two valid IDs. One must be a photo ID. They have free forms, assistance and photography available.
You will need an ID card to apply for the discount. The MTA accepts the following forms of photo identification:
- Valid driver's license (or legal equivalent) from any state.
- Valid passport from any country.
- Birth certificate + photo identification.
- Medicare card + photo ID.
- Valid state photo ID
WHEN AND WHERE CAN REDUCED METROCARD BE USED
- On the subway and on local buses at any time of the day.
- On express buses: any time of the day, except weekday peak hours, 6-10 am and 3-7 pm
- On Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North: any time of day except weekday morning rush hour to New York City terminals, 6 to 10 a.m.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Upon acceptance, program participants will receive a special Fair Fares MetroCard in the mail with no value or time. Once filled with a value and slipped into the turnstile, you will automatically be charged half the normal subway fare for a single ride.
If participants choose to add time to the card, such as with a weekly or monthly unlimited pass, they will be asked to pay half of what they normally cost.