Letters to the Editor

Passport to ride

On Sept. 12, letter writer, Golden Passport misuse, Floreal de la Garza wrote regarding the fare-free Golden Passport program. I would like to clarify some of the claims made about this program, which benefits so many in our community. The Golden Passport program that existed prior to the approval of the People’s Transportation Plan in 2002 had an income requirement. Under the current Golden Passport program, a permanent Miami-Dade resident who is 65 years of age or older is eligible to receive a Golden Passport, regardless of income. Permanent Miami-Dade residents who are Social Security beneficiaries, regardless of age, also qualify.

The Golden Passport program also extends benefits to United States military veterans who are permanent Miami-Dade County residents and whose annual income is $22,000 or less. They qualify to ride free with a Patriot Passport.

Currently, there are approximately 198,000 registered users in the Golden Passport program, including the Patriot Passport. While these riders are riding fare free, we should remember that they are being subsidized by the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County.

To learn more about the Golden Passport or Patriot Passport programs, please call 786-469-5028.

Ysela Llort, director, Miami-Dade Transit