County Commission approves Commissioner Eileen Higgins’s Golden Passport reforms
MIAMI-DADE – The Miami-Dade County Commission on June 4 unanimously approved reforms to the Golden Passport program proposed by Commissioner Eileen Higgins, District 5. The Golden Passport program provides fare-free public transportation to County residents who are 65 and older, who are disabled, and for disabled and low-income veterans.
The adopted legislation directs the Department of Transportation and Public Works to create an efficient online system that allows residents to apply for a new card or renew and pay for replacement cards without the need to download, mail or fax in applications. Currently, applications for the program may only be processed in person at the downtown Government Center Transit Service Center, a 311 Service Center, or a City of Miami Neighborhood Enhancement (NET) office. Replacements for lost, stolen or damaged cards currently must be done in person at Government Center. The online system is projected to be operational by the end of 2019.
The approved reforms also make losing your card less expensive. The County is reducing the cost of replacement cards in the following manner: a first time replacement is now free (down from $5); a second replacement is $10 (down from $20); and a third replacement is now $25 (down from $50).
The reforms were proposed after Commissioner Higgins held a “Golden Passport Day” in Miami Beach where she learned that Golden Passport users who had lost or needed to replace their worn-out cards were required to physically go to Government Center to get a replacement card. The reforms are intended to provide better services to Golden Passport users across the entire Miami-Dade County.
“These reforms will transform the customer service experience for our Golden Passport users by eliminating burdensome and inefficient processes,” said Commissioner Higgins. “These transit riders deserve a quick and convenient way to acquire and replace their cards online. Modernizing the process will eliminate the inconvenience of a trip to Government Center. Let’s remember that many Golden Passport holders have limited financial resources or mobility problems. These changes make accessing public transportation easier for them.”