Seniors Concerned About Rider ID
Many people wrote in this month about Metro's decision to stop issuing senior ID cards and create an easily identifiable Senior SmarTrip card to pay their discounted fares.
Background: Seniors had often expressed frustration with Metro's former requirement that they apply for the ID card, wait weeks for it, and then go get a discount SmarTrip card at a separate location. So I liked the idea of eliminating the cumbersome two-step process. Don't bother with the senior ID anymore. Just get the Senior SmarTrip card.
New Concerns: Many people 65 and older don't take the train. They ride either Metrobuses or their suburban bus systems. Downtown Washington isn't a hub for them. These two letters, from readers in Fairfax County, express some seniors' worries about the new system:
What about seniors who ride the bus and have no SmarTrip card? Now, they pay cash and show their senior ID card. What will they have to show to get the senior discount?
Have heard about the Senior SmarTrip cards and have read that they are available at public libraries in Montgomery and Prince George's counties and at Metro sales outlets and commuter stores. Please tell me where are these Metro sales outlets and commuter stores. I have never seen one or know where to look for them.
-- If you have a senior ID, you don't have to do anything till it expires.
-- Seniors can also get the reduced fare by showing a driver's license or other government-issued ID, a passport, or a Medicare card and a photo ID to buy the $10 senior Farecard for Metrorail or the $6 Metrobus weekly senior pass. On Metrobuses, seniors can show their Medicare card and photo ID to pay the reduced fare in cash.
-- Metro will tell you the nearest place to buy a senior SmarTrip if you call 888-762-7874. Use this link to see Metro's online guide to your nearest sales locations. In Fairfax County, for example, those locations include the Connector stores at the Tysons-West Park Station, the Reston Town Center Station and the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride.
-- You can add value to the SmarTrip card using the bus farebox. Here's a guide to adding value to the card. (Scroll down that page to see the bus part.)
-- On Ride On buses in Montgomery County: Don't tap the Senior SmarTrip against the farebox. As a senior, your getting a free ride there. So just show the yellow card to the driver.
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