How Do Seniors Get MTA Fare Discounts?

Seniors can receive a discount of approximately 50 percent on MTA fares, as of 2016 by applying for a Reduced Fare MetroCard. Alternatively, qualifying customers may pay cash. On the subway, the customer is charged the full fare and given a special card valid for two trips. On a bus, the customer is charged a reduced fare initially and may request a transfer slip to another local bus, valid for two hours.

Reduced Fare MetroCard applications are available online at Seniors 65 and older and individuals with qualifying disabilities are eligible to participate in the program. Senior citizen cards come pre-equipped with the EasyPay automatic refill option, allowing the card to be linked to a credit or debit card that automatically places funds on the MetroCard when needed. Individuals with disabilities must apply for EasyPay separately.

Reduced Fare customers paying cash must show ID to either a subway station agent or bus operator. Acceptable ID includes a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID from any state, a passport from any country, a Medicare card, a New York City Department of Aging ID Card or an Access-A-Ride ID card. A Reduced Fare MTA card issued before 1995 is also acceptable.

The two-trip Reduced Fare MetroCard is valid on the subway, local bus or Staten Island Railroad. A transfer slip from a bus operator is not valid for subway travel, however. Reduced Fare customers receiving transit benefits from their employers must purchase a regular MetroCard and receive a paper return trip ticket from the station booth.

Reduced Fare service is not available on express buses or the Long Island and MTA MetroNorth RailRoads’ New York City terminals during weekday rush hours, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.