TriMet launches beta for expanded Honored Citizen fare program, reducing transportation costs for low-income riders

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Qualifying riders receive 50 percent off a single ride or day pass, or 72 percent off a month pass

TriMet is expanding its Honored Citizen program, offering adult riders a new opportunity to reduce their transportation costs. Individuals who qualify for Honored Citizen fare pay half the cost of a single ride or day pass and receive a 72 percent discount off month passes. Starting July 2, TriMet will add income as a qualifying factor for Honored Citizen fare. Those earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible. Prior to fully launching the program, TriMet is inviting riders to apply for early access to the beta test.

“Adding this new eligibility to our Honored Citizen program removes yet another barrier to using transit,” said TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey. “When that happens, doors of opportunity open. Whether it’s getting to a new job or a child’s daycare, making transit accessible and affordable for those struggling financially can make a difference in the communities we serve.”

TriMet fast-tracked the expansion of the Honored Citizen program following the passage of the Keep Oregon Moving law. The legislation, passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in summer 2017, established a dedicated and stable source of funding for TriMet to offer this reduced fare to low-income adult riders. Prior to that, TriMet spent several years researching a sustainable funding approach for such a program and, in coordination with Metro, convened a task force to begin development.

This isn’t the first time TriMet has worked to put fares in the hands of those who can’t afford them. Since 2012, TriMet’s Access Transit programs – the Fare Assistance and Fare Relief Program – have provided millions of dollars in grants and discounted fares to nonprofit organizations that assist those who are struggling financially.

Qualification

Participation in TriMet’s Honored Citizen program utilizing the new income-based eligibility requires a two-step, in-person application process, beginning with an eligibility screening. It can be based on income or enrollment in a qualifying social service program. Applicants must also possess valid identification.

Once launched, TriMet will provide eligibility-screening sites throughout the region by working with multiple community organizations that will provide eligibility screenings. Once eligibility is certified, participants present documentation at the TriMet Ticket Office at Pioneer Courthouse Square, where they will be issued a personalized Hop Fastpass™ fare card to which funds can be loaded immediately. The $3 fee associated with the Hop Card is waived for the first card issued to an individual enrolling. To apply for early access to the Honored Citizen program based on income level, go to trimet.org/lowincome/beta to be considered for the beta test.

About Hop Fastpass

Hop is a regional, electronic fare system that is valid for trips on TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar. It works like a reloadable gift card, with the added benefits of a loyalty card. Hop is different from using a paper ticket or ticketing app because of its convenience, cost savings and enhanced safety and security features.

In addition to the TriMet Ticket Office, fare can be loaded to the card with cash at 400 retail locations, by calling 1-844-MYHOPCARD or online at myhopcard.com. Fare is deducted when a Hop card is tapped to a Hop reader, located on board buses and streetcars and on MAX and WES station platforms. Hop users do not need a bank account or smartphone. Learn more about Hop at myhopcard.com.