Fair Fares: How to get Metrocard at 50% discount

If you live in New York City and it is costing you a lot of money to get from one place to another by public transport to carry out your activities, then you have come to the right place. It turns out that the NYC Fair Fares program allows you to access a Metrocard with a 50% discount for a year. But don’t worry, you can renew your application every year.

Fair Fares

Without a doubt, New Yorkers living below the federal poverty line now have the possibility of accessing a great discount that will help improve their quality of life by allowing them to go to educational centers, go to the doctor, work and recreational activities. Read on for all the details on this important New York City grant.

What is Metrocard NYC Fair Fares?

Also called NYC Fair Fares is a program launched by the Department of Social Services in 2019 that allows certain New York City residents to get a 50% discount on their New York subway, bus and train tickets paid for with the Metro card. This discount applies to both single trips and unlimited weekly and monthly trips. In addition, the same discount can be obtained in the Access-A-Ride program for transportation for people with disabilities.

New York’s Fair Fares program has a budget of $53 million, which represents about 0.05% of the city’s enormous budget (98.7 billion). So the program could be expanded in the future, as David Jones, director of the nonprofit Community Service Society, which advocates for low-income New Yorkers, says: “There has to be a lot more to expand the network. […] This should be something that a lot of people should be able to use.”

In this sense, Janno Lieber, CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has said the following: “We are partnering with the City of New York to double enrollment in the Fair Fares program in the next year […] In the wake of COVID, we learned how dependent our low-income communities are, communities of color, how dependent they were on mass transit and it really underscored the need for them to benefit from this.”

How does Fair Fares work?

Once the user submits a request (which we will explain later) you must wait at least 30 days for the request to be considered and, if approved, You will receive a new Metrocard by post at your home address within 2-3 weeks.. This card will come with a 0 balance and you will have to load money to start using it. It is possible to check the balance of your Metrocard card online by going here and logging in. Those who have applied for the Access-A-Ride discount do not need to receive the Metrocard.

If you are accepted, you will be qualified to receive the Fair Fares benefit for one year from the date of your acceptance.as long as the eligibility requirements remain unchanged.

NYC Fair Fares sets the price for a one-way ride at $1.38, for an Unlimited Weekly Pass at $16.50, and for an Unlimited Monthly Pass at $63.50. Thus, the most unprotected residents can obtain more credit on the Metrocard with each top-up. Access-A-Ride riders do not have to use the Fair Fares Metrocard because the discount is applied automatically.

IMPORTANT: You can use your Fair Fares NYC MetroCard on New York City trains and listed buses. Express buses (MTA Express) cannot be used with the Fair Fares benefit. Neither is the Long Island Railroad system, PATH, AirTrain or MetroNorth.

Who can apply to Fair Fares?

It is estimated that around 770,000 New Yorkers are able to qualify for the benefit in the five boroughs. However, until the last days of October 2021, only about 250,000 had signed up, which represents about 32% of the total. Therefore, continue reading because you may be one of those who can be benefited and do not know it yet.

About, Janno Lieber says: “People travel by subway and have relatives who travel by subway.” “The main problem is that they don’t know that they can opt for a trip at half price and we have to spread the word.”

Requirements to apply for Metrocard Fair Fares

If you want to qualify for Fair Fares, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be between 18 and 64 fulfilled
  • Live in New York City
  • Not receive money to cover the full cost of the ticket from the Department of Social Services or any New York City agency.
  • Not receive any other type of discount for transportation.
  • Meet the annual income limits listed below
people in the household maximum income
one $12,880
two $17,420
3 $21,960
4 $26,500
5 $31,040
6 $35,580
7 $40,120
8 $44,660

For each extra person living in your household, you must add $4,540 to meet the maximum annual income allowed by the Fair Fares program.. If you have more questions, you can visit the Fair Fares website and use the tool that appears there to check if you are eligible before applying.

How to apply for Fair Fares?

The application process is entirely online from this website: https://a069-access.nyc.gov/accesshra/fairfares and to advance, you must create your account. Once there, in the top menu you have the option to translate the page into Spanish, and when you do, click on the link with the text: “Create an account”. This will take you to a page where you will have to enter your email, a password and a security question. Complete this information and you will be ready to face the process to obtain Fair Fares.

The next step is to log in to your new account and follow the steps that are proposed there. At a certain point, you will have to enter your personal information such as your first name, last name, and date of birth. In addition, you will be able to clarify questions related to your address and, if you live on the street, you will be able to indicate this there so that your Metrocard card can be sent to a branch of the General Post Office.

After this, you will be asked if you want to verify your income using the information from your last tax return (the simplest method) or if you prefer to attach supporting documents for yourself and each member of your family who wants to obtain Fair Fares. When you finish this, your request will be analyzed in the next 30 days.

If you have any questions about how to obtain your Fair Fares, call the toll-free number 311.

How do I check the status of my Fair Fares application?

If you have already completed the application following the steps mentioned above and submitted all the supporting documents, You can find out the status of your procedure by logging into the account you created and going to your profile to see the status of all your procedures. Here you can also confirm that you do not need to present any document, and if so, they will tell you what the deadline is to do so. Remember that you must allow about 30 days to pass from the moment of application for the administration to review your case..

How do I renew my enrollment in Fair Fares NYC?

The Fair Fares benefit expires one year after approval. Therefore, you will need to inform the Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration (HRA) that you need to continue receiving the subsidy. The renewal process is online from your HRA account.

You will receive a notification a few days before your one-year term expires. So stay alert so you don’t miss out on this opportunity to renew your Fair Fares benefits. Even so, the expiration date can be found on the back of your Metrocard. And if by chance time passes and your Metrocard expires, you will have to apply for a new one by starting a new process, just like the first one.

If your Metrocard expires, you will not be able to use it, and if you had a balance there you will have to request a refund by taking the card to any Fair Fares NYC center. Keep in mind that balance cannot be transferred to your new Metrocard, but rather this refund will be returned to you via check or credit card or EBT, depending on how you loaded it.

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