San Francisco Just Made It Easier for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities to Get Around During the Pandemic

In case you haven’t heard, the City of San Francisco has opened the doors for seniors and adults living with disabilities to pick up groceries, visit the doctor and take care of other essential errands via subsidized taxi rides during the pandemic.

SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority) is now providing an Essential Trip Card (ETC) to anyone over age 65 and adults with at least one disability living in San Francisco. The card offers a substantial discount on taxi rides, with eligible participants only paying 20% of the cost of regular cab fare, and will cover between two and three trips per month within the city limits for essential trips such as to the pharmacy or to a grocery store.

Those over 65 years of age and persons living with disabilities may apply for the ETC program by calling 311 between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on weekdays and mentioning the program. Qualifying customers may also enroll in person at the SF Paratransit Broker’s Office (68 12th Street) if needed. Once the ETC is activated, participants will need to add funds to a card in order to receive the trip discount. For every $6 loaded, participants receive a $30 value, or $12 for a $60 value (up to $60 value per month is allowed). More on the program, included frequently asked questions, can be found here.

Currently, MUNI service is largely restricted due to safety reasons associated with COVID-19, which has made it much harder on seniors in terms of getting around.

All riders are asked by SFMTA to wear a face covering, as required by the State of California, and San Francisco’s Public Health Emergency Order. It is also recommended that the rider take hand sanitizer along during their ride and touch as few surfaces as possible.  

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Institute on Aging

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