MDOT Fare Card offers reduced rates to seniors and those with disabilities

Paul Garrod •

   BANGOR - The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced a new Universal Reduced Fare Card, a special card that provides seniors and people with disabilities with a reduced fare on participating public transit providers throughout the state. It is a pilot project between MDOT, Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC), and the Michigan Public Transportation Association (MPTA).
   Van Buren County is one of 20 counties throughout the state who are participating in the pilot program, according to Van Buren Public Transit Director Tony Dacoba.
   The pilot program began July 1 in Van Buren County, according to Dacoba. More than 300 identification cards have been distributed to date. “I feel it’s a positive increase, a plus so far,”  said Dacoba.
   “The benefits of the Universal Reduced Fare Card include easier, seamless access to transportation with less paperwork,” said Jean Ruestman, MDOT Office of Passenger Transportation (OPT) administrator, in a recent press release. “Currently, most transportation providers require an application to receive a reduced fare. With the Universal Reduced Fare Card, (In Van Buren County  - a Transit Rider Card) a qualifying person will receive reduced fare at all participating providers.”
   Local transit agencies are required to offer reduced fares to persons 60 or older, along with persons with disabilities, riding on their public fixed-route or demand response (i.e., dial-a-ride) service during off-peak hours.
   “I received very favorable comments about the program while attending a recent conference,” said Dacoba.
   Van Buren County residents interested in obtaining the Transit Rider Card may do so online from Van Buren County Public Transit bus drivers, through the mail at 610 David Walton Drive, Bangor, MI, 49013, or by calling Van Buren  Public Transit at (269) 427-7921.
   This program is strictly voluntary between providers and restrictions may apply. Visit the program website for more information. or call Mary Hoffmeyer, MDOT, at (517) 335-2594 or
   Also, VBPT is offering free rides throughout the county for  Van Buren County residents, age 60 and over. The only stipulation is that an individual must provide proof of age and/or disability.
   Daytime groups seeking more information about this  program may contact VBPT to arrange for an informational  meeting  put on by VBPT officials.
   “It’s a neat program,”said Dacoba.

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