MTA grants lost-card exception to rider with autism

Posted: Updated:
BERGEN BEACH -

A young Bergen Beach man with autism misplaced his MetroCard and had it suspended -- then the MTA denied him a replacement before authorities granted him a special exception.

Gabriel Vered, 22, used a special Access-A-Ride MetroCard until he lost it a few weeks ago.

"It allows four free trips on subway or bus per day," says his father, Amos Vered.

That's perfect for a young man with autism who doesn't understand how to use money, the older Vered says.

Unfortunately, his son had a habit of losing the special cards. So much so that Vered is well-versed in how to replace them.

It takes a $10 money order, the rider's ID number and 21 to 30 days before the replacement comes.

But because the younger Vered had lost his card three times already, the MTA sent the family a letter informing them his eligibility had been suspended for 120 days. He could re-apply on Sept. 15.

Then officials caught wind of the case and granted an exception.

"The suspension rule exists in order to protect all of our customers by preventing potential fraud," the MTA said in a statement. "But this is clearly a special case, so we're issuing a new card for Gabriel so that our services remain accessible to him."

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