Seniors Save with Reduced Fare Metrocard in New York City Region
On a budget and 65 +? Plan ahead to get half-price transportation between LGA or JFK and Manhattan and every municipal subway, bus, or train in the New York area.
A Reduced Fare MetroCard is the ticket for tourists or travelers 65 or older who want to save big bucks on transportation throughout the New York City region, starting from LaGuardia (LGA) Airport or John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
What’s more, travelers can use the card everywhere in the region on Metropolitan Transit Authority buses, trains, and subways. Regular subway or bus fare is $2.25 per person as of July 2009 but $1.10 for senior citizens per ride. Large discounts are also available on Long Island Railroad commuter trains and Metro-North trains to nearby suburbs.
The key is applying for the card at least a month in advance. Age and a valid I.D. are the only requirements, regardless of a visitor’s permanent home town
Step by Step – Getting A Reduced Fare MetroCard
- Print out an application from the MTA website.
- Obtain a passport-sized photo of yourself
- Have a notary public stamp the application in the space provided.
- Charge the first $10 on a credit or debit card or enclose a check or money order.
- Mail application and photo with a Xerox or photocopy of a driver’s license or other proof of age that includes your picture to the address provided..
Applicants typically receive the card within one month and can use it immediately upon arrival at LGA or JFK. From the curb outside baggage claim at La Guardia, take the M60 bus all the way into upper Manhattan, then transfer free to another bus or subway. Or take the Q33 at LGA to the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue subway station, where there is a free transfer to various subway lines.
From JFK, take the Q10 city bus to the subway, or pay $5 extra for the AirTrain, which connects to the subway. These methods are slow but reliable; buses and subways run 24/7.
How Much Do You Save on Transportation in the New York City Region?
Plenty. Taxis from JFK are a flat $45 plus tip and any bridge tolls to Manhattan. From LGA the taximeter may run from $20 to as much as $40 plus tip and tolls, depending on the visitor’s destination in Manhattan.
The New York Airline Express bus to Grand Central Terminal is better — $15 cash flat fee from JFK,$12 from LGA – but there is no service before about 6 or 7 a.m. or after 11 p.m. The SuperShuttle (a/k/a Blue Van) is a shared ride that costs $22 per person plus tip from JFK or $16 from LGA to any location in Manhattan but is often slower than the city bus.
Those who don’t want the hassle of applying in advance for a Reduced Fare MetroCard can get one easily (with photo I.D. or driver’s license) at the Walk-In Center in lower Manhattan, without a notary. They will take your picture and help you fill out the form. See the MTA reduced fare Website for details or call 1 800-METROCARD.