On the Move Riders Club helping older adults get around with public transportation

Photo Credit: Peter Watkinson and Josh Southwick

Public transportation plays a large role in helping older adults stay mobile. But as much as many of them want to ride buses or trains, trying to figure out routes, times and tickets can sometimes be a little intimidating. That’s where On the Move Riders Club comes in.

On the Move Riders Club is part of Metro’s outreach to older adults. Project Manager Lilly Ortiz visits senior citizen centers around Los Angeles County to teach older adults about the benefits of public transit and familiarize them with local transportation options, whether it be Metro, Foothill Transit, local Dial-A-Ride or one of the other municipal operators.

Photo Credit: Peter Watkinson and Josh Southwick

Once On the Move Riders Club is established at a center, older adults have access to a new support system of travel-savvy friends and tailor-made club activities, such as group sight-seeing trips or one-on-one trips to the grocery store or doctor. Ortiz also connects inexperienced riders with travel buddies – older adults who are experts at navigating bus and rail transit and trained on how to help their peers.

“The only way to really know how to ride Metro is to get out and use the system. We train travel buddies to teach others how to buy tickets, which routes are useful to know and what resources are available for trip planning,” said Chip Hazen, Metro’s ADA Compliance Administrator. “Then travel buddies go out and ride with those who need some encouragement until they are comfortable using Metro on their own.”

On the Move Riders Club is now forming groups throughout Los Angeles County. To find a group, email onthemove@metro.net.

Metro has a Senior TAP Card Program for older adults who qualify for reduced fares. A Senior 30-day pass costs $14 and one day of unlimited rides is just $1.80 with a TAP day pass.

How to purchase a single senior ride using a TAP card

We received a good question from a reader last week: he was returning home from the Hollywood Bowl and encountered a Metro Rail station in which the ticket machines were no longer issuing paper tickets. This was a problem for the man as the rail station he used to reach the Bowl was still issuing paper tickets and his wife didn’t have a TAP card but now wanted to purchase a senior fare.

Here’s how you do it on the TAP only ticket machines: 
1. Select button A:  “Purchase New TAP card + fare”

2. Then select button F:  “TAP($1 Fee) and Metro Pass”

3. Then select button I:  “1-Ride, Sr/D 1-Ride w/ID, 9a-3p, 7p-5a 25 cents”

The total price for the transaction is $1.25 — $1 for the TAP and 25 cents for the senior non-peak fare. The TAP card is good for three years, so the woman’s next single ride will only cost 25 cents.

It’s important to note that such purchases are not being done on the honor system. If a sheriff’s deputy checks your fare, you may need to have an ID card to prove you qualify for the senior discount.

Of course, seniors who ride Metro frequently should get a senior TAP card, so they’re eligible for the $14 monthly pass — a very good deal. Click here to learn how to apply