New Metro Transit assistance program will make riding the bus more affordable

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Effective October 1, Metro Transit is raising their bus and train fares by 25¢. With the exception of rides to the Downtown Zone. No change there.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news is that Metro Transit is launching a new Transit Assistance Program (TAP) that is designed to not only offset this particular fare increase, but will provide relief to the folks that are most in need of public transport. Good news for Northside residents.

The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) is designed to help make public transit more affordable for low-income residents. Enrollment begins October 2. For more info visit metrotransit.org/tap-riders or call 612-373-3333. Here’s how TAP will work:

The benefits: If you meet the income requirements, you can get a Go-To TAP card that, when you add money to it, gives you a $1 fare (plus a 2.5-hour transfer) on every ride you take. Once the TAP card is used, you will have access to the $1 fare for a full year. If you still meet the income requirements after 365 days, you can re-enroll through a partnered organization or by visiting an open enrollment site with an updated certification document and proper ID.

The discounted price is not valid on Metro Mobility or Transit Link buses and only a partial discount is applied on Northstar fares.

Riders are limited to only one reduced fare Go-To card (TAP, Limited Mobility, Senior or Youth card.)  All other previously issued Go-To cards will be deactivated upon qualifying for TAP.

How to qualify: You will need the following documentation to verify that you qualify for the program:

One of the approved certification [qualifying] documents listed below: EBT card with verified food benefits within the last 60 days (note: to enroll using an EBT card, you will need to log into the EBT Edge website.); WIC folder; Free/Reduced School Lunch Approval Letter; Metro HRA Family Statement; Plymouth HRA Family Information and Payment Verification Sheet; and check back for new certifications.

Along with a certification document, you must also produce photo ID (the name shown must match the certification document), or you can supply a utility statement showing your name and address. Examples of accepted ID: Work ID; School ID; Driver’s License; Driver’s Permit; Identification card; or Catholic Charities Community card. For example: Free/reduced lunch letter (qualifying document) + school photo ID.

How to enroll. Bring your valid certification document and photo ID to one of the following locations (open to the public): Minneapolis Metro Transit Service Center: 719 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis; St. Paul Metro Transit Service Center: 401 E. 5th Street, St. Paul; Project for Pride in Living: 1035 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; SouthWest Transit Station: 13500 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie. Or to Mail Order: Complete a mail order form (available on the Metro Transit website) with payment and a photo copies of your document and ID. Note: At this time, EBT are not accepted for mail order applications. Also check back for new locations.

If you are supported by one of the following organizations, you can contact them directly about enrolling for TAP: CLUES; Little Earth; MPLS PHA; Project for Pride and Living; Catholic Charities; MPLS American Indian Center; Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa; House of Charity; or Native American Community Clinic.

Using your TAP Go-To card: Your TAP card must be registered within 48 hours or it can be deactivated. Enrollment staff are available to help register TAP cards. To start using your card, simply add value and use it like any other Go-To card by touching it to the card image on any bus reader or on the platforms of light-rail and A Line stations. It will deduct $1, which includes a 2.5-hour transfer.
The TAP card will look like any other Go-To card. After you tag your card, the electronic card reader will turn green and in small font read “TAP Pass.”

To refill your Go-To card: With cash: at any rail station or neighborhood outlet (like Cub Foods). Visit metrotransit.org/buy-in-your-neighborhood to find locations in your area. With Credit: online at metrotransit.org, call 612-373-3333 option 4, or visit at any rail station or neighborhood retail outlets.

 

 This article was written by Carolyn Bastick