Fair Fares NYC is a City program created by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and members of the City Council to help New Yorkers with low incomes manage their transportation costs by providing them with a discount MetroCard.

Using the Fair Fares NYC MetroCard, eligible New York City residents ride for HALF the regular price. Pay-Per-Ride fares, 7-day unlimited passes, and 30-day unlimited passes are all available in Fair Fares NYC.

The Fair Fares NYC program currently invites eligible New Yorkers to enroll and does not accept applications.

On January 27, 2020, the City will start an open application process for all eligible New Yorkers at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level who meet the eligibility criteria and don't already have discounted transportation from the MTA, the City, or other program.

Starting January 27, 2020, any New York City resident can apply to participate in Fair Fares NYC. Applications for Fair Fares NYC must be submitted online.

If you need help completing your application, 311 can transfer you for assistance by phone or you can go to a Fair Fares NYC office location. 

The application process will have three steps:

  • Create an account
  • Submit an application online 
  • Submit required documents, if necessary, within 10 calendar days of submitting your application using the Fair Fares Mobile app

Your application and supporting documents, if necessary, will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible for Fair Fares NYC. The review process can take up to 30 days.

A decision notice is mailed to each applicant. If your application is approved, you will receive your Fair Fares NYC MetroCard with your approval notice in the mail two to three weeks after your application is approved. 

Check your eligibility and view program information on the Fair Fares NYC website.

Since January 2019, the Department of Social Services has been contacting eligible New Yorkers who are working and receiving Cash Assistance to enroll in Fair Fares NYC.

The program expanded in April 2019 to include all eligible New Yorkers who are working and receiving Cash Assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The program expanded again in October 2019 to include certain CUNY students, veteran students, and NYCHA residents who meet the program's eligibility requirements.

At this time, the Fair Fares NYC program does not accept applications. You must receive a notification from the program inviting you to enroll.

New Yorkers who are at or below the federal poverty level may be eligible if they are:

  • Working and receiving Cash Assistance or SNAP benefits from the New York City Department of Social Services; or
  • Certain CUNY students, veteran students, or NYCHA residents.

If you get Cash Assistance or SNAP benefits, you can check ACCESS HRA to see whether you or other members of your household are eligible for Fair Fares NYC.

Please note:

  • The City will not ask about immigration status or record any information about immigration status.
  • You are not eligible for the Fair Fares NYC program if you are participating or eligible to participate in the MTA’s disability or senior discount fare program.

While there is currently no application process, on January 27, 2020, the City will start an open application process for all eligible New Yorkers at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level who meet the eligibility criteria and don't already have discounted transportation from the MTA, the City, or other program.

Once you have received your eligibility notice, you can enroll in the Fair Fares NYC program online.

If you do not enroll by January 24, 2020, you will no longer have early access based on your current eligibility. You can still apply after that date, but you will have to show that you are eligible at the time you apply.

Visit the Fair Fares NYC website.

You must agree to the "Conditions of Use" online and update your mailing address, if it has changed.

Two to three weeks after you have enrolled online, you will receive your Fair Fares NYC MetroCard in the mail.

The Fair Fares NYC MetroCard discounted price is:

  • $16.50 for the 7-day unlimited pass
  • $63.50 for the 30-day unlimited pass
  • $1.35 for a single fare (Pay-Per-Ride)

With Pay-Per-Ride, you choose the dollar amount you want to add.

When you use your Fair Fares NYC MetroCard, the turnstile or bus fare box will deduct half the regular fare. This means if you add $10 to your Fair Fares NYC MetroCard, you will have the whole $10 on your card, but each time you swipe your card, you will be charged only half the regular price for a single ride.

The Fair Fares NYC MetroCard can be used on New York City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway (SIR).

It cannot be used on MTA Express Buses, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), PATH, AirTrain, or Metro-North.

The Fair Fares NYC MetroCard you receive will not have any money on it. You can add money to your card, or you can buy a 7-day unlimited pass or a 30-day unlimited pass for half the regular price.

The MTA MetroCard vending machines will know to charge you the discounted price for an unlimited pass. The turnstiles and bus fare boxes will know to charge you half the regular fare when you swipe for Pay-Per-Ride.

MTA station booths only accept cash payment for Fair Fares NYC MetroCards.

MTA MetroCard vending machines accept payment for Fair Fares NYC MetroCards by:

  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card