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Transit Assistance Program (TAP) – Partners

Enrollment begins Oct. 2, 2017

The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) is designed to help makes public transit more affordable for low-income residents.

Community partners are a key element to ensure that persons across the region can enroll. This program allows for face-to-face communication with trusted partners to address questions on how the program works and its benefits. We hope TAP participants can ride safely, confidently and more often.

Persons certified as low income (see qualifications below) will have the ability to get a Go-To Card that, when you add money and tag it to a reader, you get a $1.00 fare plus a 2.5-hour transfer.

Metro Transit is working with Agencies and Community organizations to partner in the distribution of the new fare tool when they meet the program enrollment qualifications. The approved partners can be authorized to:

  1. Allow for the partners low-income documented clients to become certified to be accepted at public enrollment sites.
    And/or
  2. Distribute and register the Go-To Cards on behalf of Metro Transit.
    • You can request to be an “open site” where you would accept any qualifying document or a “closed site” in which only clients of your organization would be invited to enroll in the program.
    • Partners have the option to add Stored Value to TAP cards but this is not a program requirement. Metro Transit staff can show your organization how to add value to TAP cards.
    • If you are already receiving discounted fares (Jobseekers or ECO) you will not be able to get an additional discount when loading value on TAP cards. If you are already enrolled for ECO or Jobseeker program you can also apply to participate in the TAP program.

The TAP fare tool

A TAP discount will be preloaded on the Go-To Card. When value is added, and tagged to a validator it will deduct $1.00 and include a 2.5 hour transfer. This fare tool will be accepted on buses and trains for regular route service at a flat fare at all times, including express buses. Metro Mobility and Transit Link rides will not get any discounts when riding. If riding Northstar, a prorated discount is applied.

Upon first use the Go-To Card discount will be given for 365 consecutive days, after which the card will revert to the full fare. No pass is available for TAP cards.

The TAP fare for 2017 is $1.00. The card will look no different than a regular Go-To Card and the rider will not need to present any additional documents.

TAP cards will not be eligible for balance transfer of any pass product. Stored Value cards that are registered to the TAP holder can be transferred. Example: if the rider already has a Go-To Card registered to themselves, Metro Transit can transfer the stored value to their TAP card and the old card will be deactivated.

Qualifications to apply.

Income verification guidelines:

  • 185% above Federal poverty guidelines
  • 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Individuals supported by organization enrolled in the Eligible Community Organization program (ECO)

Community Partners and Organizations

All partners will be required to document that the persons they distribute the TAP Go-To Card to has meet the qualifications listed above or the overwhelming percentage of the persons supported by the agency qualify. The percentage will be set by Metro Transit. Partners are subjected to annual audits by Metro Transit to ensure compliance.

Partners are encouraged to add value to TAP cards but no discount will be given to the organizations when loading TAP cards. Partners will receive training on tools available to add value to Go-To Cards.

Approved ID’s

Metro Transit will accept pre-approved documents by Community and Agency organizations that meet the qualifications above along with a photo ID or utility statement with a matching name.

Examples:

  • Verified EBT card getting SNAP benefits
  • Free/Reduced School lunch approval letter
  • WIC folder with your name on it
  • Approved public housing rent statement
  • Check back for a list of others

Fraud Control

All reduced fare tools will require registration; Senior, Youth, Limited Mobility and TAP.

Registration includes: Name, Address, phone, birth date. Current policy allows for suppression of personally identifying if requested in writing. See Tennessen warning for instructions.

Registration MUST be completed within 48 hours of first use or the card maybe deactivated. Persons are limited to only ONE discounted fare card.

Once approved, what is next?

Along with your approval you will get instructions on how to order your TAP encoded cards online.

Once your cards arrive you can begin to distribute them to qualified clients.

For each card, you distribute, you will need to present the Metro Transit Tennessen warning, document enrollment information, and help the client register the card online.

Enrollment information required for audit review includes Date / Serial number of TAP card / Authorized Agency representative issuing card / Certification document used. If using EBT and last value add date of deposit will need to be recorded. This information can be recorded on a paper copy of the registration card or an in-house intake form and must be retained for one year.

Per the terms of the agreement, Metro Transit may audit your records to ensure that only certified persons are receiving the discount card for up to one year after the card is distributed.

Metro Transit will provide you user guides for each card. You can request translations in Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

Refilling TAP Go-To Cards for Organizations

If you choose to add value to Tap Go-To-Cards you can do that online at metrotransit.org

Metro Transit staff can help you create a “My Fare Card list” to keep track and manage cards. With My Fare Card list, you can check card balances, add value, and/or deactivate cards on behalf of clients.

If you add value you can pay by credit card, or by working with our credit and collection specialist we can set you up for the Bill Me Later option, if approved. Bill Me later also allows you to create a spreadsheet that can be upload into our site if you have a large client list. Just ask us and we will walk you thru the process.

TAP card holders can add value at metrotransit.org or by calling 612-373-3333 option 4 with a credit card or at rail stations and any one of over 120 outlets.

> See the list of outlet

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