MTA introduces CharmCard for seniors
The Maryland Transit Administration said that on Monday it will roll out a version of its CharmCard fare collection system that will reflect the discounts available to seniors.
The new, bright orange CharmCard for Seniors will be available to riders over 65, charging them the reduced fares already available for older MTA customers.
The original CharmCard, introduced last year, offered automated fare collection using a plastic card with an embedded microchip that stores and spends the monetary value the customer adds to the card. But at the time of its launch, the system was unable to account for senior fares.
The new senior card is intended to remedy that omission. It can be used on MTA local buses, the Baltimore subway and light rail, as well as Washington-area buses and that city's Metro. It is not accepted on MARC trains, where the ticketing is integrated into the Amtrak system.
According to the MTA, customers can carry up to a $200 balance on their cards at any time. It said the cards will be registered so that value is protected in case the card is lost, damaged or stolen. Seniors are eligible for such discounts as 55 cents for a regular one-way fare, compared to the standard $1.60, and $1.20 for a day pass, compared with $3.50 for other riders.
The reduced-fare senior cards willl be available at the MTA certification office at 6 St. Paul St. in downtown Baltimore. A valid Photo ID will be required to prove eligibility. The cost of the senior card is $2, but it comes pre-loaded with that amount in transit fares.