Securing half-price fare just got a little bit easier for older adults and people with disabilities who don’t drive.
Many Metro riders over the age 65 and individuals with a disability rely on public transportation for a variety of daily tasks and activities, from going to work every morning to attending a Cincinnati Reds’ game—a main reason why Metro’s Fare Deal program exists.
Available to adults 65 and older, Medicare card holders, and riders with disabilities, a Fare Deal identification card is valid for half-price fare on any Metro trip.
But availability and accessibility are two different things. Over the years Metro has received numerous requests from customers to make the Fare Deal program more convenient. The sentiment was reiterated during a series of recent community conversations between riders and SORTA leadership we recently hosted. Enabled via a grant from the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, these conversations were a unique opportunity for bus riders-- many of whom had never participated in public meetings before-- to share their feedback and ideas directly with SORTA leadership. It’s during these conversations that they met everyday rider Neil Kelly.
After the meeting, Neil connected with Lisa Aulick, Director of ADA and Accessible Services at Metro, SORTA Board Chair Kreg Keesee and then CEO Dwight Ferrell, to discuss his concerns and make suggestions for how Metro could make the program easy to access.
“If Metro didn’t serve me the way it currently does, I’d be forced to rely on predatory private transportation companies for people with disabilities, and I wouldn’t have a social life,” said Kelly. "It means a lot to me to know that Metro was listening and worked swiftly to respond.”
Here are the three changes Metro made to make the Fare Deal program more convenient and easier to navigate:
1. Extended eligibility Those 65 or older or with a permanent disability will have up to a 5-year eligibility term. All other Fare Deal cardholders may have up to 3 years of eligibility.
2. Additional hours and a new downtown location: Beginning in April, customers can apply for the program at Metro’s downtown sales office across from Government Square, cutting down the strain on disable applicants. Applications will be accepted at Metro’s downtown sales office during the following times: The 2nd and 3rdTuesdays each month from 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and the 2ndSaturday each month from 9 a.m. - noon Metro will still accept applications at the Silverton office, located at 7000 Montgomery Road on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:15 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. The Silverton office is served by Rt. 4 (Kenwood or Blue Ash) and Rt. 90 Metro*Plus.
3. New ways to get monthly stickers: Beginning April 15, customers will be able to purchase monthly Fare Deal sticker the following ways:By mail- Send a check or money order made payable to SORTA to 1801 Transpark Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45229By phone- Call 513-632-7591In person- at the Silverton office at 7000 Montgomery Road on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:15 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. and Metro’s downtown sales office at 120 East 4thStreet downtown weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.