One dollar to get to the Atlanta airport redux

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(Note:  this posting replaces the similarly titled posting on May 20, 2024.  It provides a report on the results of the trip to the Atlanta airport and it offers examples of other more sensible rapid transit senior discount cards.)

The reader will recall that I had been in Atlanta in recent days to host the eleventh annual e-Trademarks listserv reception.  During my time in Atlanta, I obtained a Senior Reduced Fare card for MARTA, the subway system in Atlanta, which is the bottom card at right, called “breeze”.   I qualified for this card by being 65 years of age or older.  (The other way to qualify is to have a disability.)  This process is by now rather familiar to me, since I had previously obtained a senior discount card from the Washington Metro (top card at right, called “Senior Smartrip”) and from Denver’s Regional Transportation District (middle card at right, called “Special discount card”).

The Washington Metro Senior Smartrip card has no expiration date.  The Denver regional special discount card recites an expiration date, but it is some 65 years in the future, a date I think I can safely ignore.   But as you will see the Atlanta MARTA card unaccountably bears an expiration date a mere three years in the future.

It is understandable, I suppose, for such a reduced-fare card to have an expiration date in the near future if the way that the card holder were to qualify is by having a disability — I suppose there is some chance that the disability might go away at some later time.  But it strikes me that the status of “being 65 years of age or older” cannot cease to be the case merely because of the passage of three years.  Nonetheless you see that MARTA has in mind that I will need to go again to their headquarters in Atlanta three years from now, and to present myself in person, to prove that I continue to be at least 65 years old.

Oh, and for those keeping score at home, I can report that my trip to the Atlanta airport on May 21, 2024 did take place as planned, was very pleasant, and did cost a mere one dollar.  The trip was faster than a trip to the airport by taxi or Lyft or Uber would have been.

5 Replies to “One dollar to get to the Atlanta airport redux”

  1. The expiration might not have to do with no longer being a senior citizen but a way to automatically purge the rolls when seniors themselves “expire” so that the executor of the estate doesn’t have to do anything, it may be to allow for more frequent card upgrades as card security and technology changes over time to prevent everyone upgrading at the same time, and it may allow verifying and updating the card holder’s contact information for a more reliable database if the account holder isn’t actively maintaining an account. Is it stated on any of these discount cards that upon the death of the card holder, the card must be destroyed or returned to the issuing transit authority or whether the transit authority must be notified of death or incapacity of the card holder?

    1. Yes, I suppose you are right. The reason for the expiration date is probably to eliminate the risk that after the demise of the card holder, somebody else who is under 65 years of age would be able to get away with continuing to use the card.

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