All About your new Access-A-Ride (AAR) MetroCardTM
The MTA has introduced a new Access-A-Ride (AAR) MetroCard program exclusively for Paratransit customers. The program will roll out over an 18-month period, until all 170,000 AAR customers receive an AAR MetroCard.
The new AAR MetroCard gives Paratransit customers the opportunity and flexibility to take a total of four free trips a day using the subways, local buses, and Staten Island Railway (SIR).
Q. Does the new program affect my current Paratransit eligibility status?
A. No. The new Access-A-Ride (AAR) MetroCard issued by NYC Transit will serve as both your Paratransit customer identification card to use when you ride Access-A-Ride and as a MetroCard if you opt to use public transit.
Q. Can I use my new AAR MetroCard to pay for Paratransit trips?
A. No. You cannot use your AAR MetroCard to pay for Paratransit vehicle trips or voucher trips. The fare for Paratransit vehicle trips remains the same as the full fare on public transit. Please show your AAR MetroCard to the driver when you board a Paratransit vehicle and pay the regular fare.
Q. How do I use my AAR MetroCard to ride on public transit?
A. First, remember, you can ride free of charge for up to four trips a day. A day is a 24-hour calendar day, from midnight to 11:59 p.m. Like any other MetroCard, you get an automatic free transfer between the subway and a local bus route, Staten Island Railway and a local bus, or between two local bus routes.
On local buses, “dip” your AAR MetroCard into the farebox and it will pop up again. If you use a lift to enter a bus, show your card to the bus operator. In the subway, “swipe” your AAR MetroCard through the turnstile. If you use an assistive device for mobility or travel with a service animal, you can enter/exit ADA-accessible subway stations by dipping your AAR MetroCard in an AutoGate farebox, which will read your card; your card will then pop up. The AutoGate will open to either allow you entry or exit. For more information, click on:. Traveling on MTA Subways or Traveling on MTA Buses
Q. Can I use my AAR MetroCard to ride express buses free of charge?
A. No. However, you pay reduced fare during non-rush hours on weekdays, and all day on Saturday and Sunday if you show your AAR MetroCard to the express bus operator when you board. Do not insert your AAR MetroCard in the bus farebox, but deposit the fare in exact change in coins (no bills or pennies, please).
If you board the bus via a middle/rear-door wheelchair lift, you may ask your PCA to deposit the fare, or ask the bus operator to give you a postage-paid envelope so that you can pay the fare by mail. Please note that a bus operator cannot handle a customer’s money or MetroCard.
Q Can I add time or value to my AAR MetroCard if I want to take more than four public transit trips a day?
A. No. Your AAR MetroCard is a special MetroCard designed to provide you with a total of four free trips a day (a day is a 24-hour calendar day, from midnight to 11:59 p.m.) on local buses, subways and SIR, plus transfer privileges as previously noted.
The AAR MetroCard does not have the capability to accept added value or time. Once you have taken the maximum number of daily trips with your AAR MetroCard, you pay for additional rides in the subway or on SIR by purchasing another MetroCard or by paying exact change on the bus. However, you can pay reduced fare for these additional trips.
On buses, show your AAR MetroCard to the bus operator and pay a reduced fare by depositing exact change in coins (no bills or pennies, please) in the farebox. If you enter a bus via the lift, follow the pervious instructions to pay the fare with someone’s assistance, or get a postage-paid envelope from the bus operator and pay by mail.
In the Subway, or at a SIR station, show your AAR MetroCard to a station agent in a booth, pay the full $2.50 fare, and you will be issued a Reduced-Fare, Round-Trip MetroCard. One trip will be deducted for each use ($1.25 per ride) and the $1.00 new card fee does not apply. Please note that paper return-trip tickets will no longer be issued, but current paper return-trip tickets will be honored through December 31, 2013. For more information, click here:
Q. I do not use a wheelchair. However, my disability makes it difficult for me to climb bus steps, even if the bus operator activates the bus kneeler. What should I do?
A. Ask the bus operator to activate the wheelchair lift or lower the front entrance ramp to help you board and exit.
Q. Does my PCA (Personal Care Attendant) travel free when I take subways, SIR, and bus trips with my AAR MetroCard?
A. Yes. If you have PCA Certification, which your AAR MetroCard will indicate, your PCA rides free of charge, via Paratransit or public transportation. On public transit, just swipe or dip your card twice – once for you, and again for your PCA.
Q. I want to travel by bus or subway, but am not familiar with all my travel options. Can I get help?
A. Yes. If you would like to learn to travel by subway and bus, apply for Paratransit’s free travel training program, in cooperation with the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State, which conducts the training. Call 212-947-5770, extension 627 and leave a message. Someone will contact you.
Q. Can I get a lost or stolen AAR MetroCard replaced?
A. Yes. NYC Transit will reissue lost cards at its discretion after receipt of a $10 replacement fee, in the form of a USPS® Postal Money Order payable to MTA New York City Transit. Mail the $10 USPS® Postal Money Order to NYC Transit, Paratransit Division, Eligibility Unit, 130 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Paratransit will notify customers as the program evolves. You can also check this page for new information.
This information is also available on cassette and in Braille upon request. Please call: 718-393-4133.
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