Reduced-Fare MetroCard

Update on Applications and Claims for MetroCards

Due to COVID-19-related restrictions on non-essential travel, we are currently unable to process any claims or applications for:

  • Reduced-Fare MetroCards,
  • EasyPayXPress MetroCards,
  • Balance Protection for lost or stolen MetroCards, and
  • Refunds for MetroCards.

Reduced fares are available for MTA subway, bus, and rail customers who are 65 or older or who have qualifying disabilities.

The reduced fare is half the base fare. The base fare for subways and local buses is $2.75, so the reduced fare is $1.35.

The Reduced-Fare MetroCard® is a personalized card with your name and photo. You must apply for the card and be approved to receive it. To apply, please follow the instructions below.  

When applying, you can choose our EasyPay option for automatic refills. If you don’t have a Reduce-Fare MetroCard, you can still get reduced fares when paying with cash. See details below.

    Where and When Reduced Fare Is Accepted

    • NYC Transit subways – good anytime
    • NYC Transit and MTA Bus local buses – good anytime
    • NYC Transit and MTA Bus express buses – good anytime, except weekday rush hours, Monday to Friday, 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.
    • LIRR and Metro-North Railroad  – good anytime, except weekday rush hours to New York City terminals, Monday to Friday, 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

    How to Apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard

    You can apply for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard by mail or in person. You will need your completed application form, valid ID, and a passport-style photo.

    Forms, personal assistance, and free photography are available when you apply in person. No payment is required to apply. When you receive your card, just fill it at any MetroCard Vending Machine.

    For reduced fares, the following forms of ID are accepted:

    • A valid driver's license from any state (or legal equivalent issued to nondrivers).
    • A valid passport from any country. 
    • A NYC Department of Aging ID card. 
    • A Medicare card (Medicaid not accepted).
    • An Access-A-Ride ID card or an MTA Reduced-Fare ID card (pre-1995).

    Note: To be accepted, the ID must have a photo of you. For customers with disabilities, proof of a qualifying disability is also required. See page 2 of the application form for details.

    To Apply by Mail

    1. Download, read, and complete an application.
      Get an application for seniors 65 or older.
      Get an application for customers with disabilities.
       
    2. Enclose a 2-inch by 1 ½-inch photograph (passport style).
    3. Enclose a photocopy of a valid photo ID as proof of age. See above for acceptable IDs.
    4. For customers with disabilities, enclosed proof of a qualifying disability. You can find a list on page 2 of the application. Upon receipt of your application, an examiner will review it and, if necessary, contact you for additional information.
    5. If you wish to choose our EasyPay option, be sure to complete that section of the application.
    6. Mail your completed application to:
      MTA New York City Transit
      Att: Reduced Fare Program
      130 Livingston Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201-9625

       

    Need Help with Mailed Forms? Just call 511, which is a voice-recognition system. Say "MTA," then say "Subway and Buses" and follow the prompts. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay.

    To Apply In Person

    You can apply in person at our Customer Service Center or at a MetroCard Bus or MetroCard Van. Forms, assistance, and free photography are available. Bring two valid IDs. At least one must be a photo ID. See the list of accepted IDs above.

    Visit our Customer Service Center at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan (between Broadway and Broad Street). Open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays.
    By Subway, take: to Bowling Green*; or (1)* to South Ferry*, or, (W) to Whitehall St.
    By Bus, take: M5, M15, or M20

    Visit a MetroCard Bus or Van, see scheduled locations here

    Three Ways to Pay for Reduced Fare

    With Reduced-Fare MetroCard

    Once you receive your reduced-fare card, simply fill and refill it at a Station Booth or MetroCard Vending Machine, as you would a regular MetroCard.

    With Our EasyPay Option

    The easiest way to refill your Reduced-Fare MetroCard is with our EasyPay option. Your card is linked to a credit or debit card and refills automatically. No more empty cards or waiting in lines. The application for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard includes a form for EasyPay. Find out more here.

    With Cash

    Don’t have a Reduced-Fare MetroCard? You can still get reduced fares when paying with cash. You must present a valid photo ID to a Station Agent or Bus Operator.

    The following forms of ID are accepted:

    • A valid driver's license from any state (or legal equivalent issued to nondrivers).
    • A valid passport from any country.
    • A NYC Department of Aging ID card.
    • A Medicare card (Medicaid not accepted).
    • An Access-A-Ride ID card or an MTA Reduced-Fare ID card (pre-1995).
    Paying with Cash on the Subway

    Show your ID to the agent and pay the full $2.75 fare. You will get a Reduced-Fare, Round-Trip MetroCard. This gives you two rides at the reduced fare of $1.35 per ride. The $1 new card fee does not apply. This two-trip card is good for subways, local buses, and the Staten Island Railway. It cannot be refilled, and is non-transferable, non-negotiable, and non-redeemable.

    Paying with Cash on the Bus

    Show your ID to the operator and pay $1.35 in coins, exact change. No pennies or bills are accepted. You can request a transfer from the operator. The transfer can be used on local buses only, within two hours. It cannot be used for the subway or express buses.

    What to Do If Your Reduced-Fare Card Is Lost or Stolen

    Report online

    If your card was lost, stolen, or you never received it, your best option is to file a report online.

    Report Lost Cards by Phone or in Person

    Call us at 511, which is a voice-recognition system. Say "MTA," then say "Subway and Buses" and follow the prompts.

    If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay. We are available seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    To report your lost card in person, visit our Customer Service Center at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan (between Broadway and Broad Street or a MetroCard Bus or Van.

    What We'll Do

    We will deactivate your card and send you a new one. The replacement card will have the same value remaining on your old card at the time of deactivation. Please note that we do not issue a temporary card if your Reduced-Fare MetroCard is lost or stolen.

    Please allow four weeks to receive your replacement Reduced-Fare MetroCard.

    What to Do Until Your New Card Arrives

    While waiting for a replacement card, you can still get reduced fares by paying with cash. Just follow the regular instructions for reduced fares with cash. Present valid ID to a Station Agent or Bus Operator.

    • To pay with cash on the subway: Show your ID to the agent and pay the full $2.75 fare. You will get a Reduced-Fare, Round-Trip MetroCard. This gives you two rides at the reduced fare of $1.35 per ride. The $1 new card fee does not apply. This two-trip card is good for subways, local buses, and the Staten Island Railway. It cannot be refilled, and is non-transferable, non-negotiable, and non-redeemable.
    • To pay with cash on the bus: Show your ID to the operator and pay $1.35 in coins, exact change. No pennies or bills accepted. You can request a transfer from the operator. The transfer can be used on local buses only, within two hours. It cannot be used for the subway or express buses.

    What to Do If Your Reduced-Fare MetroCard Expires

    People who are part of the MTA’s Reduced-Fare MetroCard program should automatically get a replacement card in the mail before their current card expires. If you haven’t gotten your replacement card within a week of your current card’s expiration date, call 511 and let us know. (More instructions for requesting a new card via 511 are below.) 

    If You Haven’t Gotten Your Replacement Card

    Call 511 and follow the prompts for MetroCard assistance, or ask to speak with someone about your Reduced-Fare MetroCard. A representative will be able to help you between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern.

    Replacement cards usually arrive in 15-20 days.

    If Your Reduced-Fare MetroCard Expires and You Have a Replacement Card

    You have two years after your MetroCard expires to transfer the balance to a new card.

    • If your card expired within the past year: Take your expired card and your replacement card to a station booth. Ask the station agent to transfer the balance from your expired MetroCard to the replacement. You can also visit a MetroCard Mobile Sales Bus & Van to transfer money from an expired card. (You can see scheduled locations for mobiles sales buses and vans.)
       
    • If your card expired more than a year ago: You can mail your expired card to MetroCard Customer Claims for a refund. Ask a station agent for a postage-paid business reply envelope and mail your card to this address:  

      MetroCard Customer Claims
      130 Livingston Street
      Brooklyn, NY 11201

    Read more about transferring a balance from an expired card.

    How to Get a Reduced-Fare Round-Trip

    If your Reduced Fare MetroCard has expired, you can still get a reduced fare for your trip. Show your ID to an agent at a station booth or MetroCard Mobile Sales bus or van and ask for a Reduced Fare Round-Trip. The cost is $2.75 and covers two trips and two transfers. The $1 fee for a new card does not apply.