Accessible Travel by Commuter Rail

Commuter Rail

The MTA supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and invests in our facilities to improve access for our customers with disabilities.

Reduced-Fare Program

The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad offer reduced fare benefits for people who are 65 and older and customers with qualifying disabilities. The reduced fare is half of the one-way peak fare and can be used for single-ticket purchases at all times except certain morning peak periods. Please see the application form for a list of qualifying disabilities.

Purchasing Reduced-Fare Tickets

To pay a reduced fare, you must present one of the following forms of identification:

  • Reduced-Fare MetroCard (for identification purposes only; the card does not need to have any value).
  • Paratransit card (Access-A-Ride, Able-Ride, or Suffolk County Accessible Transportation-SCAT). Note: The Paratransit card may only be used to buy reduced-fare tickets on the LIRR; it may not be used to buy reduced-fare tickets on Metro-North.
  • MTA Reduced-Fare ID card (issued prior to 1995).
  • Medicare card (Medicaid card not valid for reduced fare).

You may buy reduced-fare tickets at ticket windows and on the train. While you won’t pay a higher fare if you buy those tickets on the train, please note that you may not use them on LIRR during morning peak hours, or on Metro-North during morning or evening peak hours. Get full details below.

Many stations with ticket offices have wheelchair-accessible counters. All Ticket Vending Machines are accessible.

If you are a daily or frequent commuter, you can get similar savings and more flexibility if you buy tickets through the Long Island Rail Road Mail&Ride and Metro-North Railroad Mail&Ride programs. Unlike Reduced-Fare tickets, Mail&Ride tickets can be used at any time for unlimited rides during the calendar month, and the tickets are mailed to you automatically.

When You Can Use Reduced-Fare Tickets
  • Reduced-fare tickets may not be used on Long Island Rail Road morning peak trains arriving weekdays at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal (formerly Flatbush Avenue), Hunterspoint Avenue, or Long Island City between 6 and 10 a.m. They may be used during evening peak hours.
  • Reduced-fare tickets may not be used on Metro-North Railroad morning peak trains arriving weekdays in Grand Central Terminal between 5 and 10 a.m. and those departing Grand Central Terminal weekdays between 5:30 and 9 p.m.
  • Because reduced-fare tickets reflect a significant discount, there is no reduced-fare option for multiple-trip rail tickets.
Accessible Travel Services

The MTA aims to provide safe, comfortable, and convenient travel for all of our customers. These services are available to ensure our transit network is accessible for customers with disabilities.

Elevator and Escalator Status

Before you start your trip, check the status of elevators and escalators at your destination station.

Metro-North’s Call-Ahead Program:  As a courtesy to our customers who might need assistance, Metro-North can notify train crews in advance of boarding if additional assistance is required. If you have advance knowledge of your travel plans and would like to request assistance, please contact us at 511 between the hours and 6 AM – 10PM at least 15 minutes prior to your trip to speak with a Customer Service Representative so that they can notify the train crew. Customers can get information on Accessible Stations and the best place to wait for the train on the platform. We will also ensure the train crew has advance notice of the customer’s boarding if specific train information is provided. 

Getting On and Off Trains
  • If you would like help getting on or off the train and know your travel plans in advance, call 511 to speak with a customer service representative. With at least 15 minutes notice, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad can let train crews know that you need assistance.
  • At the station, if you need help boarding the train, please tell the train crew. Crew members check the platform to identify customers who need help.

    If you want help to get off the train, please tell a crew member your planned stop. If you miss your station, crew members can help you find an alternate route to complete your trip.

    Many stations have two-foot-wide yellow tactile edge-warning strips. Stay behind these strips until it is time to board the train.

Priority Seating

Many MTA commuter rail cars have designated seating for senior citizens and customers with disabilities. Wheelchairs can be accommodated in areas where the seats fold up to provide adequate floor space. Wheels should be locked while traveling in commuter rail cars.

Customers Traveling With Wheeled Mobility Devices
  • Customers traveling with wheelchairs, scooters, or other wheeled mobility devices should remain at least five feet (if possible) from the platform’s edge.
  • Mobility devices should be positioned with brakes locked and wheels parallel to the track. Try to wait in the middle of the platform because cars at either end of the train may not open or may not line up with platforms at certain stations.
  • When boarding or leaving a train in a wheelchair, back on and off so that the larger rear wheels lead. This makes it less likely that the small front wheels will get caught in the gap between the platform edge and the train.
  • If the gap or difference in height between the train and the platform is too large, ask the train crew to set a bridge plate to span the gap. 
Traveling With an Attendant or Companion

Personal Care Attendants (who are employed to help people with disabilities) can ride the commuter railroads for free when they are accompanying a customer with a disability.

Service Animals

Customers with disabilities may bring service animals into all MTA transit facilities. The animals must be securely leashed for the safety of all customers.

Parking

Parking facilities at commuter rail stations are operated by Long Island Rail Road,  Metro-North Railroad, or local municipalities.

For information about accessible parking at Long Island Rail Road stations, call 718-217-5477 or check the Stations section. For information about accessible parking at Metro-North Railroad stations, call 511 to speak with a Customer Service Representative or check the Stations section.

List of Accessible Stations

The MTA continues to expand accessibility features to serve the needs of customers with disabilities. To plan your trip, check the Accessible Station List. Rail stations that meet all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are indicated with the symbol . All others are accessible by wheelchair. For more specific information, check the Stations section for Metro-North and the LIRR.

The public address system at stations and on trains will provide service change information. In addition, accessible stations have a public address system with a visual display. If your train is rerouted from an accessible station, ask the train crew or station ticket office staff to help you find an alternate accessible route for your trip.

Accessible Rail Stations

Always check service notices, and the latest subway map available here and posted in all stations and available free at fare booths.