MetroAccess Riders to Prepay by Phone, Online or Use Cash for Trips

In an effort to simplify and save customers time in paying fares, Metro is encouraging its MetroAccess riders to use remaining tokens and paper fare cards before January 31, 2011, when they will be discontinued for use. The Metro Board of Directors voted October 28, to approve the elimination of the tokens and paper fare cards.The transition is being planned in preparation for new distance based fares that are being implemented on December 5, as part of the 2011 budget fare changes authorized earlier this year. Under the new fares, continued use of tokens and paper fare cards will add handling time to each trip.While paper fare cards and tokens are being phased out, Metro is encouraging MetroAccess customers to prepay for trips by phone or online using a credit or debit card with MetroAccess EZ-Pay. The service has been available to customers since May 2009. SmartBenefits customers may also take advantage of MetroAccess EZ-Pay. Customers can receive step-by-step instructions on how to use EZ-Pay online, or they can call 301-562-5360 to request information. In addition to EZ-Pay, MetroAccess fares also may be paid in cash in the exact amount at boarding.

Starting December 5, MetroAccess fares will be based on the distance and time of day that a customer travels. The MetroAccess fare will be twice the amount of what the fare would cost on the fastest comparable trip if the same trip were taken on fixed-route services (Metrobus and Metrorail), up to a maximum fare of $7.MetroAccess customers will be informed of the exact fare that they are expected to pay for a trip when they book a trip online or with a MetroAccess reservations agent.Effective July 1, the MetroAccess service area was changed to provide paratransit service to locations within ¾ mile of fixed route service (Metrobus and Metrorail) during the same hours that fixed route transportation services are available. Customers who traveled outside the ADA service area or hours in FY2010 are permitted to continue to do so under a grandfathering provision adopted by the Metro Board of Directors. All grandfathered trips outside the ADA service area will be charged the maximum fare. 
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According to the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, The District of Columbia’s poverty rate is far above the national average and has remained high even in periods of strong economic growth.  Some 133,000 residents—nearly one-quarter of the population—are low income, which in 2006-2007 corresponded to an income at or below $24,475 a year for a family of three.  DC’s low-income population is so large that it would overflow RFK Stadium and the Nationals’ Ballpark combined.  To read more: DC Fiscal Policy Institute Report 2010.

City of Washington and the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area invite you to attend D.C. Financial Planning Day on Saturday, October 23 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, where you’ll be able to meet one-on-one with dozens of professional financial planners to discuss your personal finance questions, concerns and interests. 

The advice will be provided on a pro bono basis by experts from the Financial Planning Association® and highly qualified CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals. There are no strings attached – volunteering planners will not pass out business cards, marketing materials or sell products or services. 

For more information, or to register (walk-ins welcome):http://www.financialplanningdays.org/Content/cityselectstep2.aspx?City=DC&rt=Applicant

Designated by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care(Consumer Voice), Residents’ Rights Week highlights residents living in all long-term care settings.

New to Residents’ Rights Week?  Read about its history:

The History of Residents’ Rights Week.

The TENANT BILL OF RIGHTS from the District of Columbia Office of the Tenant Advocate provides a helpful summary of tenants’ rights in the District.  Many thanks to LCE volunteer Elena Alvarez who took the time to create a Spanish translation of the guide: DECLARACIÓN DE DERECHOS DE LOS ARRENDATARIOS

The Office of the Tenant Advocate is committed to providing residents of the District of Columbia with the information and resources they need to understand tenant issues in DC. 

At the Tenant Summit 2010, presentations will be offered in English and Spanish.  For more information,visit www.ota.dc.gov or see the link below: 

Summit Flier (English and Spanish) 

Invited:
* Adrian Fenty
* Vincent Gray
* Leo Alexander

Hear where these candidates stand on issues such as affordable housing for seniors, improving long term care and creating livable communities across the District of Columbia.

Thursday, July 29, 2010
8:30-10:30 am

Mount Vernon Place UMC
Auditorium
900 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Sponsored by the DC Senior Advisory Coalition and AARP DC

DC Mayoral Candidates Debate on Issues Affecting Older Adults