DC Metro launches reduced fare program for SNAP benefit recipients

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DC Metro launches reduced fare program for SNAP benefit recipients

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The Washington, D.C., Metro is launching a program intended to alleviate costs for low-income customers and make transit services more affordable.

DC Metro announced on Tuesday that commuters could begin enrolling in Metro Lift, an income-qualified reduced fare program. Under the program, fares for Metrobus and Metrorail will be discounted 50% for qualifying customers.

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The discount will reduce the cost of a bus trip to just $1 and rail fare to as low as $1 and no more than $3, depending on how far the commuter needs to travel.

“Metro Lift expands our reduced-fare program offerings and provides another opportunity for us to make transit accessible,” Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke said in a statement. “Everyone deserves safe, affordable, and reliable transportation, and Metro Lift provides more access for those who need it.”

Customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C., qualify for the program. SNAP recipients can enroll at wmata.com/MetroLift, and appointments for in-person enrollment, which begins June 26, opened on Tuesday.

Commuters interested in enrolling in person can go to Metro Center Station and Metro Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the New Carrollton Metro Offices in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Once a commuter is enrolled online, the 50% discount will typically be available to load on a SmarTrip card within 48 hours or less, and added immediately if a commuter enrolls in person.

A Metro Lift applicant will need a SmarTrip card for themselves and for each person in the SNAP benefit-receiving household; an active SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card; and a SNAP benefits summary. Applicants will also need a government-issued photo ID from the U.S., D.C., Maryland, or Virginia.

In D.C., 145,800 people, or 22% of the population, receive SNAP benefits. The average payment per household member per month is $188. In Virginia, 794,600 people, or 9% of the population, receive SNAP benefits. The average payment per household member per month is $181. In Maryland, 772,700 people, or 13% of the population, receive SNAP benefits. The average payment per household member per month is $180.

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SNAP benefits are calculated based on household income and size. The recipient’s household income generally must be at or below 130% of the poverty line. In fiscal 2023, the poverty line used to calculate SNAP benefits is $1,920 a month.

An average monthly SNAP benefit for a household of three is $577, with a maximum of $740. An average payment for a household of eight is $1,150, with a maximum of $1,691. Any household higher than eight can be calculated by adding a maximum of $211 per additional person.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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