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Accessible Travel by Commuter Rail

Updated Oct 29, 2020
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 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 6 and 10 a.m.
  • Because reduced-fare tickets reflect a significant discount, there is no reduced-fare option for multiple-trip rail tickets.

Elevator and escalator status

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

Call-ahead options for boarding trains

If you would like additional help boarding a train on Metro-North or Long Island Rail Road, you can call us and let us know. We’ll get your request details to train crews in advance.

For Metro-North

If you would like additional help boarding, we can notify train crews in advance.

  • Contact us at 511 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., at least 15 minutes before your trip.
  • A customer service representative will get details about your request to the train crew.

For Long Island Rail Road

  • Call 718-547-7227 at least 2 hours before your train is scheduled to leave. Call service is available 24/7.
  • A customer service representative will get details about your request to the train crew.

You can also request help in person at Penn Station, Jamaica Station, or Atlantic Terminal. Please allow at least 15 minutes before your train is scheduled to leave.

  • At Penn Station, visit the customer service office.
  • At Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal, visit the ticket office.

Tips for getting the most out of your ride

Getting on and off trains

  • Use the call-ahead programs for either railroad.
  • Tell the train crew at the station if you need assistance boarding.
  • Tell the train crew on board if you need help getting off the train, and what your planned stop is.

Traveling with an attendant or companion

PCAs may also ride for free on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. However, PCAs may be required to carry identification that shows they are employed by a PCA agency.

Traveling with wheeled mobility devices

  • If possible, stay at least 5 feet from the platform’s edge.
  • Orient your mobility device with wheels parallel to the track and lock your brakes.
  • Wait in the middle of the platform if you can.
  • When boarding or getting off a train, back on and off. That way the larger rear wheels lead and it's less likely the smaller front wheels will get stuck between the train and the platform.
  • If the difference in height between the platform and the train is too large, ask the train crew to set a bridge plate to span the gap.

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.

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 and scroll down to the rail roads. 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.

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