Medicare MTA Travel

Step by Step Guide in How to Apply for a Reduced, Half Fare MetroCard in NYC For People Over 65 & People With a Disability

Step by Step Guide in How to Apply for a Reduced, Half Fare MetroCard in NYC For People Over 65 & People With a Disability

If you are a retiree, a recent Medicare Recipient, or in the process of receiving Medicare, who is seeking to save money on transportation costs, you may be in luck. If you are a person under 65, but have a disabling condition, having the option to save on transportation costs can go a long way. The Reduced Fare MetroCard program helps many Americans save money on their transportation costs and applying for a reduced fare MetroCard can actually be easier than you think with all the options available. Reduced fare MetroCard are available for people who are 65 years or older, or have a qualifying disability New York. In this article, we will delineate the many resources and options that can help you apply for a reduced fair card, understanding the qualification guidelines, where you can use the card, how and where to apply, and important updates you should know about.

Where can you use your half fare Metro Card?

You can use your reduced fare metro card on the subway, buses, Long Island Railroad, and Metro-North. You can use your card anytime on local buses and the subway. You can also use your card on express buses and Roads, just not during rush hours, and considering certain time restrictions.

Are there any limitations or time restrictions as far as using your half fare card?  

If your using your half fare card on Express Buses in NYC, you can use your card any time except during the weekday rush hours from 6-10 am, and 3-7 pm. If you use the Railroad to get around, you can use your half fair card when using Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North any time except the weekday morning rush hours to NYC terminals, which is typically from  6:00 am-10:00 am.

Is it worth getting a half fare card, and How does it work with discounting the price?

Reduced Fare MetroCard’s is half the base fare. For example, if the subway or local bus fare is $ 2.75, the price  of the fare will be reduced to $ 1.35, pretty much saving you half of the fare. For people who use mobility aids or have service animals, there is an option to apply for Reduced-Fare AutoGate MetroCard which will give you access to enter and exit the system using AutoGate.

Are there any important  requirements, documents, or IDs I need when applying?

There are some important documents you should have handy. You will need at least one form of photo ID to apply.  Keep in mind that the application is free and you can pay with cash to refil your card, or use EasyPay option for automatic refills.

  • A Medicare Card
  • NYC Department of Aging ID card
  • Valid driver’s license ( or legal equivalent and it can be from any state)
  • Or a Valid Passport from any country

How can you apply for a Reduced Fare MetroCard and what are the options?

There are 3 common ways you can apply for a Reduced Fare MetroCard: Using a station booth, Mail in an application, or visit a MetroCard bus or van at a specific scheduled location in NYC. Before exploring the ways in how to apply, please note the following important information:

* Schedules can change, and they do not operate on federal holidays such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Please call 511 before visiting a location by calling 511.

Option 1 – Applying at a Mobile Bus or Van Location

You can apply for a half fair MetroCard by visiting a scheduled location where they have a Service MTA Bus or Van. The MTA personnel usually work inside the van and conduct all business through a window. Keep in mind that they have a particular schedule and various locations they services at specific times throughout the week. The locations at times, tend to have big lines, and there an be an unusual wait time depending on the number of people waiting to be serviced.

What services are available at the mobile location?

Services offered include getting help with a Reduced Fare application, Reporting a lost or stolen Card, Exchange a damaged Reduced-Fare MetroCard, Transfer MetroCard Balances,  and assistance with other MetroCard related issues.

Important to know: You must bring two valid IDs, and 1 ID must be a photo ID. They have forms, assistance, and free photography available on site. If you are 65 or over, make sure you bring your Medicare Card.

Is there a schedule that shows the Mobile Van times and dates?

Yes, to view the full schedule for Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island, click here: MetroCard mobile sales buses and vans (

Option 2-  Download, complete, and mail in the application

There are 2 types of applications you should be aware of. One for  people 65 or older, and the other for people with disabilities.

  •  If you are 65 or older to download the application here: Click here (
  • Or people with disabilities Click here (

Follow these 5 Steps when filling out and mailing your application

  1. Download, fill out and complete the application
  2. On the application, you must include a passport-style photo and make sure its 2 inches by1.5 inches
  3. Provide copy of a valid ID as proof of age
  4. For people with disabilities, its important that you include proof of a qualifying disability. You may be contacted by an examiner who will review the application if more info is needed.
  5. Mail your application to:

MTA New York City Transit – Att: Reduced Fare Program.130 Livingston Street. Brooklyn, NY 11201-9625

Option 3 – Using a station booth

This option is available only at limited locations, and requires that you travel to that location. There are 3 booth locations for each borough. Here are the locations where you can apply (Click here to view map):


  • Kings Highway (between East 15th and 16th Street) Booth B24
  • Atlantic Ave Barclays Center (near the north bound lines) Booth R610
  • Crown Heights Utica Ave (at Eastern Parkway) at Booth R626.


  • Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer ( at the Archer Avenue entrance) Booth N606
  • Flushing Main St ( at the Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue) Booth R533
  • Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave at the entrance on 74th street and Broadway ( Booth N324)

Staten Island:

  • At St. George


  • 161 St-Yankee Stadium
  • E 180 St
  • Pelham Bay Park


  • 42 St- Times Square, Booth R151
  • 96 ST
  • Fulton St (on the line at the Broadway Entrance) Booth R151

In summary:

Half Fair MetroCards are available for people over 65, and people who have a disabling condition throughout the five boroughs of New York.  Half Fare MetroCards do help many seniors save money on transportation costs, and provides greater access to individual with mobility needs.  You can apply for a Fare MetroCards using one of the  3 most common methods  presented earlier in the article, depending on what would be most  convenient option for you, and receive live assistance by calling 511 to confirm schedule times, and for further information, help and support. 

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