From the MTA NYC website…
About Reduced Fare
Cost: The base subway or local bus fare is $2.75. Reduced fare is half the base fare, $1.35 or less with Reduced-Fare MetroCard discounts.

Who’s eligible: Customers who are 65 years of age or older or have a qualifying disability.

Where and when you can ride at the reduced fare:
MTA New York City Transit Subway
MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus: local buses anytime
MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus: express buses anytime except weekday rush hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 am 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 pay with a Reduced-Fare MetroCard
How to pay with cash
When you pay with cash, you must present an acceptable form of ID. Show your ID to a subway Station Agent or Bus Operator.

Follow these instructions for riding the subway or bus:
On the Bus: Show your ID to the Bus Operator and pay $1.35 in coins, exact change; no pennies or dollar bills accepted.

Ok, so my reduced-fare MetroCard is NOT reduced during weekday rush hours, which is M-F, 6AM to 10AM and 3PM to 7PM. DOUBLE WHAMMY for me…Not only is the express bus the only mode of pubic transportation I take, but I also only travel within the rush hour time frame. The subway, local buses, or LIRR are not options for me, for a variety of reasons. Subway…1. Would need to first take a bus to the subway. Multiple modes of transportation and/or transferring during rush hour…not so much. 2. Would need to transfer from 7 train to another subway. As noted above, transferring during rush hour…not so much. 3. Getting on the 7 train at the Main Street station during rush hour…Uhm, NO. Quite frankly, that should’ve been #1 and then there wouldn’t even need to be anything after that. I could go on and on, but let’s keep it moving.
Local buses…would only be a means to get to the subway…so, not helpful/useful, but only makes my commute that more challenging.
LIRR…1. Although the LIRR is only a block and a half from our apartment and there is an elevator at our stop (assuming it’s operational), navigating Penn Station during rush hour…Uhm, NO. 2. I would still need to take a subway from Penn Station after getting off of the LIRR. Again, transferring…not so much. 3. LIRR fare would also not be reduced, since I’d be taking it M-F, during rush hour times. So, why even deal with 1 & 2?!?…
Considering where my office is located, the Express bus is actually the easiest and most convenient method for my inconvenient commute…and subsequently, the only viable option of public transportation for me to take to work.
Now that I’ve provided everyone with my long-winded set-up, lets get to meat of why we’re talking about my reduced-fare MetroCard…
“MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus: express buses anytime except weekday rush hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 am 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”
What the f**k is that all about?!?!?
Why is the reduced-fare not valid during rush hour Monday through Friday on the express buses, LIRR, and Metro-North? Are seniors and people with disabilities not supposed to travel during rush hour times? Do seniors and people with disabilities not have to commute or be anywhere during rush hour times? Isn’t this discrimination? I may be shooting myself in the foot with this question…but, why does this M-F rush hour exception only apply to express buses, the LIRR, and Metro-North?…is it because these three have the most expensive fares?!? Can the MTA only afford to offer the reduced-fare to seniors and people with disabilities at all times for just the subways and local buses? Would offering the reduced fare for the express buses, LIRR, and Metro-North at all times, and not just during non-peak hours, break the bank for the MTA?? I mean, I’m aware that the MTA is constantly using their funds to renovate or “update” stations, buses, subways, etc….but breaking the bank…I highly doubt it. And is it because only 25% of the subway station are handicapped accessible, that you offer the reduced-fare at all times?…Are you throwing us a bone and doing us a favor for the inconvenience? It’s infuriating.
Yes, I realize that having the reduced-fare can be seen as a privilege since it doesn’t have to be offered at all…but you have to apply for the reduced fare MetroCard!!! You either have to have been on this earth for 65 years or have a “qualifying disability” to be eligible for this privilege. So…WTF?!? I see individuals who work for the MTA get on the bus, flash their ID, and not have to pay anything!…not even a reduced-fare! Why don’t you have your MTA employees pay full fare during rush hour times and that’ll cover the difference of seniors and people with disabilities paying the reduced fare during these times?!? And then you can throw your employees a bone and allow them to ride for free during non rush hour times…you don’t need them at work at 9AM, right? Nor, do they need to go home at 5PM, right? Us, people with disabilities and seniors, certainly don’t, right?I mean…come on…
And onto my purely, selfish, personal reason for having this complaint, that quite frankly, I’d like to bring to a higher authority and have corrected…If I can motivate myself to ever get around to doing it…
On December 26, 2013, I lost my legs because I was run over by the 7 train at Grand Central Station and wasn’t sure when I’d be taking public transportation again, if ever at all… nobody knew at the time. Then, almost four and a half years later, I re-enter the commuting world. I venture out of my comfort zone and take the express bus as my method of commuting to work on a regular basis. And considering my circumstances and challenges, it’s not easy. But, at least I only have to pay half-fare. I mean, there is only half of me left…Only to find out on my 3rd day of commuting, (Initially, I was having the bus drivers insert my MetroCard after I had sat down, so I wasn’t able to see how much I was actually being charged, since I couldn’t see the reader from my seat.) that $6.50 was being taken off my card. (Full fare is $6.50 and reduced fare would be $3.25.) WTF MTA?!?
As annoying as driving myself in and out of the city during rush hour can be, if I have to pay the full fare on the bus, it’s actually cheaper for me to drive in and pay for the Midtown Tunnel. When I drive in, I take the Midtown Tunnel in and the 59th Street or Williamsburg Bridge on my way home. Since both of those bridges are free, I’d be paying $5 and change for the tunnel and $0 for parking (If I can find a legal spot on the street, I don’t have to pay the meter because of my parking plaque.)for the round trip, as opposed to $13 for the express bus.
And that’s when I looked up on the MTA website and read the exceptions to the reduced fare MetroCard. The entire time, leading up to my first trip on the express bus, I thought…hopefully this express bus thing won’t be so bad and at least I get to pay the reduced fare. Only to be utterly perplexed to find out that it’s NOT actually reduced because I’m commuting M-F, during rush hour!!! Come on MTA!!!…as a long time customer of the MTA (since I can’t even remember how old), who got run over AND had her legs cut off by the 7 train, got new legs, re-entered the commuting world, and now braves the world of public transportation, with personal challenges and all, to take the express bus to work, you can’t help me out?!?!
Side note…Funny enough, I applied for my reduced fare MetroCard just a few months after my accident, but I’d never actually used it and I’d only taken public transportation (local bus) once since that time. I blogged about that “inaugural” bus ride that I took with my mom on one of my previous posts, with pictures and all. I didn’t have prosthetics full-time yet and was still getting around with my wheelchair, so I had to board the bus from the back, on the lift. After we were on the bus and the driver got me settled in, we didn’t even end up paying…so I never got to christen my MetroCard. Oh and speaking of my mom… She occasionally takes the express bus during rush hours between M-F and she also has a reduced fare MetroCard. Never had she mentioned to me that she gets charged full fare for these rides. Mom…WTF? Why were you never annoyed by this?

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