MetroCard vans head to Jamaica to educate seniors, disabled riders

Courtesy of MTA
By Naeisha Rose

MetroCard Mobile Sales Vans will be outside state Sen. Leroy Comrie’s (D-St. Albans) district office in St. Albans Wednesday to help seniors and those with disabilities sign up for reduced fares for transit rides.

“Many seniors and people with disabilities in southeast Queens are unaware of the benefits available to them as transit riders,” said Comrie. “I hope that bringing the MetroCard Mobile Sales Van to our community will help local residents unlock the full potential of their MetroCards and increase their awareness of the services offered by the MTA.”

Anyone over the age of 65 and people with qualifying disabilities are eligible to access subways and local buses with a reduced-fare MetroCards for only $1.35 per ride.

The price of a ride for younger able-bodied individuals is $2.75.

Interested applicants must have two forms of identification with them for the Aug. 29 event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and will have city transit representatives in attendance at Comrie’s office located at 113-43 Farmers Blvd.

The Mobile Sales Van was months in the making for the senator’s office.

“The MTA had a Mobile Sales Van for a while and one of the staffers in the office had been trying to pin down one of the [MTA sales representatives] for some time,” said Andrew Taranto, a spokesman for the senator. “This is an opportunity to introduce residents of this part of the district to reduced-fare MetroCards, because we found out that they weren’t aware of that.”

The Mobile Sales Van has been around for 20 years, according to MTA spokeswoman Amanda Kwan.

Comrie’s district has 331,535 constituents and approximately 44,600 seniors, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from April 20, 2015.

The data for the district did not have information on people with disabilities.

“Since I’ve been here [in 2015] there have been seniors that come to the office looking for ways to save money and they weren’t aware that once they turned 65 they were able to get a reduced-fare,” said Taranto. “We hope that we can start introducing people to that opportunity so they can take advantage of it.”

Residents who need to purchase, refill or replace a damaged MetroCard, or report a lost or stolen one may also attend the event, according to Comrie’s office. Anyone with questions about the program can also call his office at (718) 765-6359.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.