Schools distribute student MetroCards to eligible students at the beginning of each semester, and as needed during the school year.

You can immediately use your student MetroCard at every subway and local bus. Student MetroCards cannot be used on express buses.

Student MetroCards are:

  • Different from “regular” MetroCards sold to the public
  • Good for three trips each school day; allowing a student to travel to school, from school to an after-school activity, and from that activity to home
  • Only to be used by the student to whom it was assigned
  • For traveling to and from school and school-related activities between 5:30AM and 8:30PM
  • For traveling only on days when the student’s school is open for classes
  • Valid for one school semester

Types of Student MetroCards

Full-fare student MetroCards allow students to travel to and from school and school-related activities by bus and subway at no cost; visit the transportation eligibility page for more information.

There is a special four-way student MetroCard for students whose trip to school requires more than one transfer each way; you must request this type of card at your school.

Other MetroCard types for extended services or school approved programs may be available in certain circumstances and are subject to approval by your school and the DOE. Please contact your school for more information.

What are School Approved Programs?

School approved programs can be but are not limited to; academic programs such as tutoring, regents prep and college-now classes, academic programs on Saturdays, and community service. School principals determine what activities are considered “school-related” or “school approved”. Your school is then able to provide MetroCards for these activities since the school assumes responsibility for the activity, even if it is beyond the classroom and the physical school building location.

What Happens if You are Denied a Student MetroCard?

If you are denied a MetroCard you request from your school, you can reach out to OPT Customer Service at (718) 392-8855. Please tell the customer service agent that you were denied a MetroCard and get an incident number.

Using your Student Metrocard on a Bus

Hold the card with the word “MetroCard” facing you. Insert the card into the slot on the top of the fare box and wait for it to pop up back out to you.

This photo shows a metrocard inserted into the top of a fare box with the slanted corner on the left so the magnetic strip faces you.

Using your Student MetroCard on the Subway

Hold the card with the word "MetroCard” facing you right side up. Without lifting the card, slide it through the slot on the turnstile.

This photo shows a MetroCard sliding through a turnstile with the magnetic strip facing you, on the bottom, so the slanted corner of the metrocard is on the top, on the side closest to you.

Bus Transfers

Using your MetroCard on a bus at the start your trip will place a free transfer on your card. Then you can continue your trip for free on the subway or bus if you transfer within 2 hours. When you swipe or dip again, the little window will say “Transfer OK.”

If Your Card Doesn’t Work

Make sure you are using your MetroCard the right way. If you have trouble, ask the station agent or the bus operator for help. If your card still doesn’t work, return it to your school for a replacement.

If Your Card is Lost or Stolen

Report lost or stolen school MetroCards to your school right away. Your school will deactivate the missing card and provide a new one.