Get a FREE ebook "New York City Survival Guide"

  • Tips for staying safe in NYC, including the Subway trains
  • An insider's guide to navigating the Big Apple
Plus, tourist updates for NYC, reviews of Broadway shows & restaurants,
and a lot more. Completely FREE. Absolutely no spam, guaranteed.



Reduced Fare Transportation in New York City for Seniors

Reduced Fare Transportation in New York City for Seniors

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

New York city has lots of landmarks to see, and a ton of exciting places to visit. No wonder it involves a lot of travel within the city!

And this travel can get expensive in no time if you hire a taxi for everything!


Reducing transportation costs for Senior Citizens

One way to reduce your transportation expense is to use the hop on hop off tourist buses that take you to places of tourist interest – you pay a fixed price for a fixed number of days, and can ride them unlimited number of times.

Another option is to use public transit – MTA buses and Subway trains. These are cheaper than taxis, of course, but the cost can quickly add up for these as well.

If you are a senior citizen, you are in luck! There are multiple opportunities for you to save some money on transportation. Here are some of them.


1. Reduced Fare MetroCard for Seniors

New York Citys MetroCard for Use in Subway Trains and MTA Buses

New York Citys MetroCard for Use in Subway Trains and MTA Buses

MetroCard is an electronic card that you use to pay for your Subway or bus rides in New York.

A reduced fare MetroCard is a personalized card that contains your name and photograph. You have to apply for it, and can start using it once you receive it.

You can get both unlimited ride MetroCard and pay-per-ride MetroCard as a reduced fare card.



A reduced fare MetroCard is available to seniors (age 65 and over) and people having disabilities.

There are no residency requirements for applying for the reduced-fare MetroCard program.



A reduced fare MetroCard allows you to get a substantial 50% discount on the fare! Apart from the discount in fares, it also allows the following free transfers (valid for 2 hours):

  • Bus to bus
  • Bus to subway
  • Subway to bus



There are some time based restriction on the buses / trains you can ride using a reduced fare MetroCard. Here are the times allowed:

  • MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus: Local buses – anytime; Express buses – anytime except Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • MTA Long Island Rail Road and the MTA Metro-North Railroad: Anytime except weekday rush hours to New York City terminals.


How to get a reduced fare MetroCard


Temporary reduced fare MetroCard

You can show your ID to the subway station agent and purchase a single trip MetroCard. You will also get a free return-trip ticket along with it, which is good for 90 days. It can be used for a subway train or a local bus (not express) ride.

Alternatively, on a bus, you can show your ID to the bus operator and pay exact change of $1.10 in coins (no dollar bills or pennies are accepted).


MetroCard Vending Machine

MetroCard Vending Machine

Permanent reduced fare MetroCard

You can apply for it by mail (please click here for more details and printable application form) or in person by visiting the MTA Reduced Fare MetroCard Walk-In Service Center at 3 Stone Street (located in Downtown Manhattan) (Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Please carry photo identification and a valid proof of age with you (birth certificate / valid driver’s license / Medicare card).


How to pay for a reduced fare MetroCard

You can pay for your MetroCard using the EasyPay option, through which your MetroCard can be automatically refilled using a linked credit or debit card.

If you are refilling a MetroCard and are paying by cash, you need to show a proof of identification to the subway station agent or the bus operator. Here are the forms of ID you can use:

  • NYC Department of Aging ID card
  • Medicare card (Please note: Medicaid card is not accepted)
  • Access-A-Ride ID card
  • A pre-1995 MTA Reduced-Fare ID card


For more information on the reduced-fare MetroCard, please visit this official MTA page.


2. Senior PATH SmartLink Card

PATH SmartLink Card

PATH SmartLink Card

PATH trains are used for traveling from New York City to areas in New Jersey (Jersey City, Hoboken and Newark) and back. You have to use a SmartLink card for paying for PATH trains rides.

If you are 65 years or over, you can get a Senior PATH SmartLink Card that offers you a discounted fare. The Senior PATH SmartLink cards can not be purchased online – you have to fill out and submit a Senior PATH SmartLink Card application. Once it is approved, you would receive your Senior PATH SmartLink Card in the mail.

Please visit the official site to get more information and application form.


3. Senior discount for NY Water Taxi

To the best of my knowledge, a senior discount is not available for the NY Water Taxi.

Do you know of any other senior discounts? If so, please let me know through your comments!


This article was requested by a reader Norm Goldman, who runs The article also uses inputs received from him. Thanks Norm!


Enjoyed reading this post? Get articles about New York City attractions, reviews of Broadway shows & restaurants, and more right in your inbox!
Plus, get a FREE ebook "New York City Survival Guide". So don't wait - provide your details now!




You might also be interested in:

Speak Your Mind


More in Around NYC, Buses, Subway, Water Transportation
New York Hop On Hop Off Buses
New York Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours

New York City has numerous tourist attractions that you can see as a tourist. And there are a lot of...