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How to save money on New York transit fares

Updated Aug 15, 2022
See your options for subways, buses, and trains.

More affordable. More flexible. More fair.

This year, there are new discounts that will help you save on subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North. 

Subways and local buses 

Use OMNY to take advantage of our new weekly fare capping program. No need to buy a MetroCard upfront — simply take 12 OMNY trips with the same smartphone, wearable device, or credit or debit card from Monday through Sunday, and you automatically ride free for the rest of the week.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road 

Peak fares are now in effect on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad trains traveling during peak hours. The cost of your ride will depend on your trip — use the fare calculator build into our schedules lookup to see your fare. 

But there are new ways to save:  

For regular riders: Try a monthly unlimited pass. Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North riders can save an extra 10% on monthly unlimited passes.  

Not ready to commit to a monthly pass? Try a new discounted 20-trip ticket in the MTA TrainTime app. You’ll save 20% on regular peak fare prices, and tickets are good for 60 days.  

Try fare capping with OMNY!

Simply take 12 OMNY trips with the same smartphone, wearable device, or credit or debit card from Monday through Sunday, and you automatically ride free for the rest of the week.

Fare discount programs

If you’re over the age of 65, have a qualifying disability, or are in a low income bracket, there are programs that can help you save on your rides. 

If you are 65 or older, or have a qualifying disability

Subways and local buses

Reduced fares are available for riders who are 65 or older or riders who have qualifying disabilities. With a Reduced-Fare MetroCard, you pay a reduced fare of $1.35, or half the regular fare. Currently, this program is available only with a MetroCard, but will be available through OMNY soon.

Find out if you qualify and apply here.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road

There are also fare discounts available for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North customers who are 65 or older, have a disability, or are Medicare recipients. You must have proper documentation available.

You can use reduced-fare tickets at all times except weekday morning inbound peak trains. These are valid for 60 days including the date of sale.

You can also purchase tickets on the train without paying the higher onboard price if you can show the proper documentation.

Documentation you can use:

  • Government/state-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID
  • Government/state-issued passport
  • NYC Department of Aging ID card
  • Reduced-Fare MetroCard or Reduced-Fare EasyPay Card
  • Birth certificate or a Medicare card issued by the Social Security Administration, if accompanied by a different photo ID

People with disabilities can use an Access-a-Ride card, an Able-Ride card, a Para-transit card, or a Suffolk County Accessible Transportation card.

If you are a low-income New Yorker

You may qualify for the Fair Fares program, a program created by the City of New York. Fair Fares allows you to receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares or Access-A-Ride fares.

See if you are eligible here.

If you qualify for both Reduced-Fare MetroCard and Fair Fares, or if you travel on the railroads, we recommend applying for a Reduced-Fare MetroCard.

Tips for saving on subway and bus fares

  • Use your free transfers. Rides include a free transfer between the subway and local buses and between local buses.
  • Refill the card you have instead of paying the $1 fee for a new card.
  • Remember that kids under 44 inches tall can often ride subways and buses for free. See our fares page for specifics.
  • Consider an unlimited MetroCard. If you take the bus or subway more than 46 times in a month, a monthly unlimited card, which costs $127, would save you money. A weekly unlimited card, which costs $33, saves you if you use it more than 12 times in seven days.
  • For travel within NYC: CityTicket gives you a discounted fare on trips that start and end in New York City during off-peak hours, seven days a week.
  • For travel between Atlantic Terminal and parts of Brooklyn and Queens: See if an Atlantic Ticket is an option for your trip.