Reduced fares are available to customers who are age 65 or older or have current qualifying disabilities. All applicants not in The Rapid database must complete and submit a reduced fare application (23 KB, PDF) or visit Rapid Central Station.
Download the reduced fare application (23 KB, PDF)
What is reduced fare?
The reduced fare is half of the base fare. This base fare for The Rapid is $1.75, so the reduced fare is $0.85. Those eligible for reduced fare may pay using cash at the farebox or by using a Reduced Wave card. Reduced Fare Wave cards can be purchased and set up at Rapid Central Station. Reduced Fare Wave cards feature photo identification on the card.
How do I get verified to received reduced fare?
You will need to have your reduced fare application verified to qualify. Reduced fare applications can be verified by any of the following professionals: medical or clinic staff member, licensed social worker, vocational specialist (for example, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Goodwill, Hope Network), school staff member, social worker, teacher or paraprofessional, counselor, therapist, veterans’ organization, or community support agency such as Pine Rest, Thresholds, Touchstone Innovare, Arbor Circle, or MOKA Disability Advocates of Kent County. Your application can also be verified using your Social Security Insurance benefit determination paperwork.
A determination letter will be mailed to you within five to seven business days (weekdays).
How do I use reduced fare?
The use of reduced fare cards requires proof of disability or age 65+. The valid ID for persons with disabilities is a Reduced Fare Wave card featuring a Rapid-issued photo ID card. The Rapid also honors half fare for Medicare cardholders. Seniors may use a Medicare card, driver's license, or other proof of age 65+. The half-fare applies to single-ride cash fares only.
How do I get my Reduced Fare Wave card?
To get a Reduced Fare Wave card, take your determination letter and a valid photo ID to Rapid Central Station on weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to receive your Reduced Wave card with photo ID.
Can I get my Reduced Fare Wave card the same day I submit my application?
You may receive same-day cards if you:
- Prove you are 65 years or older with a valid photo ID.
- Have a Medicare card and a picture ID to verify your identity. Applicants must complete the top portion of an application with a current address in order to authorize the release of information to The Rapid.
- Are currently in our database as permanently eligible and have a current picture ID with you.
Staff will do their best to accommodate same-day service, but in all cases, The Rapid is allowed up to seven business days to provide the Reduced Fare Wave card. The Rapid is under no obligation to provide a Reduced Fare Wave card on the same day it is requested.
Who do I contact with questions about reduced fare eligibility?
Reduced fare eligibility is at the discretion of certifying staff of The Rapid. Exclusions include those whose sole disabilities are a result of drug and/or alcohol impairment, obesity, or pregnancy. If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact Sarah Green by phone at 616-456-7514.
What’s the replacement fee for a Reduced Fare Wave card?
Replacement fees will be charged on a graduated level ranging from $5.00 up to $20.00. After four replacements The Rapid reserves the right to deny any further replacement cards.
Federal Half-Fare Requirements
"Elderly" by Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations is to "at a minimum, include all persons 65 years of age or over." Grantees are permitted to use a definition that extends this fare to younger (i.e., age 62 and over) persons. Persons with disabilities are defined by the FTA as persons "who by reason of illness, injury, age, congenital malfunction, or other incapacity or temporary or permanent disability (including any individual who is a wheelchair user or has semi-ambulatory capabilities), cannot use effectively, without special facilities, planning, or design, mass transportation service or mass transportation facility." Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).
Universal Reduced Fare
In partnership with the State of Michigan, The Rapid is participating in the Universal Reduced Fare Program. This pilot program allows individuals who are eligible for a reduced fare in their home communities throughout Michigan to ride The Rapid at our reduced fare rate without having to apply for our reduced fare Wave card.
When presented with a reduced fare card with a Universal Reduced Fare sticker, the bus operator will allow you to board and pay the local reduced fare. No additional application or paperwork is required.
To learn more about this pilot program and participating agencies, please visit www.michigan.gov/universalreducedfare.
Remember, if you plan to visit a participating location and you have a Universal Reduced Fare sticker on your ID card, you will be able to use that agency’s transit system paying their reduced fare amount without needing to complete any paperwork. This sticker is not necessary if you are not going to be visiting and using a transit agency in another city.