Transit Assistance Program Partner Information
The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) is designed to make public transit more affordable for lower income residents. TAP provides a reduced fare pass on a Go-To Card. It allows customers to use a bus or train for just $1 per ride – even during rush hour – with a 2½ hour transfer.
Community partners are a key to the success of TAP, helping spread the word about the benefits of a reduced fare to people across our region. Our community partners’ trusted staff and volunteers can address questions face to face with the people they serve about how the program works and the benefits to the rider. We want to work together to encourage TAP participants to ride safely, confidently and more often.
How TAP works
Go-To Cards with a TAP pass have all the same benefits of other Go-To Cards – like storing transfers and balance protection. Riders have access to the $1 fare for a full year after the first use. The discounted price is not valid on Metro Mobility or Transit Link buses and only a partial discount is applied on Northstar fares. Customers can renew their TAP pass after one year if still eligible.
TAP cards are not eligible for balance transfer of any pass product. For example: if someone enrolls in TAP, but has already paid for a 31-Day Pass, that pass would be used first and then the TAP pass would activate.
Stored value can be transferred to TAP cards. If the rider already has a Go-To Card, Metro Transit can transfer any remaining stored value to their TAP card. The old card will be deactivated.
Metro Transit partners with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to both promote the program and help directly distribute TAP Go-To cards to qualified residents. Approved partner organizations can be authorized to:
- Share and promote information about TAP with your clients and community.
- Submit and certify a document which residents can use to verify income eligibility.
- Distribute and register the Go-To Cards to qualified riders on behalf of Metro Transit.
Partner organizations who distribute Go-To Cards must verify income eligibility and identity, retain a completed TAP application on file for one year and provide basic information about the program to TAP riders. More details on program guidelines and expectations can be found in the Partner Agreement below.
Eligible Charitable Organizations (ECO)
Current ECO partners already qualify to distribute TAP cards to their clients. If your organization already receives discounted fares (through the Jobseekers or ECO programs) you will not be able to get an additional discount when loading value on TAP cards.
Income guidelines and verification
Individuals with income levels at or below 185% of Federal poverty guidelines, 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or those supported by organization enrolled in the Eligible Community Organization program (ECO) are qualified for the TAP reduced fare.
Depending on the specific agreement between a partner organization and Metro Transit, partners can confirm income eligibility several ways:
- Directly, through means like examining paystubs or income verification software that certain social service agencies use.
- Indirectly, using one of our accepted documents.
Applicants must present a photo ID or a utility statement as proof of identity.
Contact the TAP Coordinator to set up a short phone call or meeting to discuss partnership and how it could work for your organization. Our staff can answer questions about the Application and Agreement below and can schedule a presentation for staff, volunteers and board members considering partnership.
- All partner organizations must complete the TAP Application.
- Partners who intend to distribute TAP cards must also complete the Partner Agreement.
Completed TAP Applications and Partner Agreements can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or addressed to Metro Transit, ATTN: TAP Coordinator, 560 6th Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411.
Once approved, what’s next?
Along with your approval you will receive instructions on how to order your TAP encoded cards online, registration forms, promotional materials and additional information on the program. Registration and some other program materials are currently available in English, Hmong, Karen, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. The TAP Coordinator will schedule a training for your staff and establish a main contact person for your organization.
Once your cards arrive and training is complete you can begin to distribute them to people in your community. For each card you distribute, you will need to present the Metro Transit Tennessen warning, document enrollment information and register the card online.
Per the terms of the agreement, Metro Transit may audit your records to ensure program compliance. Enrollment information is required in case of audit review and must be retained for one year.
Refilling TAP Go-To Cards for organizations
If you choose to add value to the TAP cards you distribute, you can do that by phone or online.
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.
Organizations can use a credit card to add value, or if approved, our credit and collection specialist can set up the “Bill Me Later” account option. Bill Me Later also allows partner organizations to upload large lists of enrollees directly. Ask for assistance and we will walk you through the process.