Reduced Bus Fare for Low-Income Individuals

TriMet Hop fastpass ID for "Honored Citizens." illustration by Margo Craig

For students, finances can be a headache, especially when it comes to bus fare. Luckily, TriMet started a new program for “low-income” riders to help with the cost of transportation. Until recently, those that qualified for reduced fares, or “Honored Citizen” fares, were seniors 65 and older, medicare beneficiaries, and riders with disabilities. TriMet now recognizes low-income individuals as Honored Citizen riders.

What else is out there?
PSU offers a pass (in the form of a sticker on your student ID) for the three months of one term that will run you back around $180. A typical TriMet monthly pass costs $100. The new low-income program is meant to reduce the monthly cost of a TriMet pass. Instead, people receive a personalized Honored Citizen Hop pass, which reduces fare by at least 50 percent.

What you pay
For those that qualify, a single two-and-a-half hour bus fare costs $1.25 (instead of $2.50), an all-day pass costs $2.50 (instead of $5), and after spending $28 within a calendar month, the rest of the rides are free. If a rider has preloaded a pass with $28 but doesn’t use it up by the end of the month, the amount left over on the Hop pass will roll over to the next month. Riders can load money to their Hop card at grocery stores, on the internet, over the phone or using an app.

Who qualifies for this program?
You automatically qualify for the program if you are between 18–64 years old; are not already considered an TriMet honored citizen; are a resident of Oregon; and are either currently enrolled in a state and/or federal benefits or assistance program (such as EBT, OHP, SSI), or make less than twice the federal poverty level of $24,000 annual income.

What do you need?
Applicants need proof of enrollment in one of the eligible benefits programs (i.e. an Oregon Health identification card for those on OHP), proof of income, and a government-issued identification.

When/where can you get one?
An easy way on campus is to go to PSU’s Transportation and Parking Services office, January 3–4 and January 7–11, where TriMet will be hosting low-income fare enrollment from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

According to the TriMet website, they host enrollment events in the area regularly and post their dates on a Facebook page. Other locations include the WorkSource and IRCO centers around Portland. To find out more about this program, the documents you’ll need for enrollment, or to find other locations near you to apply at for the program check out trimet.org/lowincome.

SE Works at 7916 SE Foster Rd, Worksource Gresham at 19421 SE Stark St.,
Worksource PCC Willow Creek Center at 241 SW Edgewater St. In Beaverton,
or Worksource Metro Central at 30 N. Webster St., and many more.
These locations are open from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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