By Ted Walner
A Benefit Not to Be Without
With everything being so expensive, it’s nice to know that there are benefits out there to help. An example of this, the Reduced-Fare MetroCard, definitely counteracts inflation. With this card you pay half price for the bus or subway. Instead of paying $2.75 each way, you pay $1.35. This helps us all, especially those on fixed incomes.
To get an application, you can download it, pick it up in person, or have it mailed to you. Google “MTA Reduced-Fare application” to download or go to 3 Stone Street to get it in person. If you call 718-330-1234 or dial 511, it can be mailed to you. Once it is completed you can mail it in or bring it to the office.
The card is available for seniors or people with a qualifying disability. Individuals with mental illness can apply. It is applicable for a lot of means of transport. You can use the card on the subway, bus, Express bus, the Long Island Railroad, and Metro-North. It can be linked to your account so that it can be automatically refilled.
The application is easy to fill out. It is self-explanatory. First you attach a photo of yourself to the page. You add proof of age by supplying a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or Medicare card. The application has to be signed and notarized. A consent has to be included and the physician or healthcare provider fills out their section. They have to check the category of the disability and state whether it is permanent or temporary. Finally, the individual has to include whether he/she is receiving Medicare or SSI. Once this is done, it is time to bring or send it in. You can mail it to 130 Livingston Street, Brooklyn or bring it to 3 Stone Street, Manhattan.
Once you have your card, if it is lost or damaged don’t fear, help is near. You can simply go to an agent at a booth and the value of the card can be transferred to a new MetroCard. If the value can’t be transferred you send the card to Customer Services at 130 Livingston Street. They can research the transactional history and send you the appropriate refund.
If you are not approved for the card at first, there are actions you can take. You can contact an independent contractor known as the Reduced-Fare Certifier Services. They can re-evaluate your disability and find you eligible for the card. You should get in touch with the MTA about this option.
Another feature, the 30-day unlimited Reduced-Fare MetroCard, sells for $60.50 instead of $121. I recommend getting this if you travel a lot around the city. You can go North, West, East, or South as often as you want without waiting on lines or refilling your card. It’s truly a fun way to explore the city. It gives you peace of mind during the month because you don’t have to budget to refill your card. So, go enjoy your Reduced-Fare MetroCard and have the time of your life visiting and experiencing New York.