TriMet on campus to verify incomes for low-income fare

Eligible students can get their incomes verified by TriMet on campus in the Portland State Transportation and Parking Office in order to receive low-income fare from Jan. 7–11. TriMet officials will be there from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

“Those interested in the low-income fare must register and once their eligibility is confirmed, they will receive an Honored Citizen fare card,” said Clint Culpepper, transportation options manager at PSU. “Participants will be able to purchase Adult Fare single use and day passes at half cost and Adult Fare month passes at 72 percent less than the price of a standard pass.”

According to TriMet, PSU is the number one destination for riders.

The low-income fare reduces cost for a monthly TriMet pass from $100 to $28 and per-ride fare from $2.50 to $1.25.

“Students can sign up whenever they’d like,” Culpepper said. “We have TriMet in our office all next week to verify folks’ incomes and get them started. After they have had their incomes verified, students will be able to pick up their low-income Hop card at Pioneer Square.”

Once TriMet leaves campus, students can find other locations on the TriMet website where they can get their incomes verified.

Anyone who earns up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level qualifies for the low-income fare program. According to the TriMet website, individuals earning up to $24,276 a year will qualify, and a household of four with an income of $50,196 will also qualify.

Students should bring documentation such as pay stubs from the past 30 days, proof of unemployment or their most recent tax return.

Alternatively, proof of membership with any of the following programs automatically qualifies an individual: Oregon Health Plan/Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Free and Reduced Price Lunch, HUD Housing Choice Voucher, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Employment Related Daycare and Women Infants and Children.

Students will not need to reverify their income again for two years.

This fare option is different from the FlexPass—a reduced-rate, 3-month pass which is 40 percent less at $174  than the standard TriMet monthly pass rate of $100.

“It’s half the price of the FlexPass and the best part is they don’t have to pay up front for the whole quarter,” Culpepper said. “They’ll also only pay for the trips they take. If they decide in the summer to ride their bike or walk instead, they aren’t out the full cost of a pass.”

“We’re not sure how many students have signed up so far as TriMet doesn’t track details like that about users, but during the two weeks they were on campus in the fall, over 1,000 folks signed up,” Culpepper continued. “Not all of them were students, but I’d assume that a large majority of them were.”