Seniors on the Go: Visiting a city? Get a transit pass

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If your spring and summer travel plans include visiting a popular city, take a close look at your local transit options. Presumably, inside a big city, you don't need or even want a rented car, and you probably don't want to pay for taxis everywhere you go. Fortunately, transit systems in many big cities offer a variety of all-day and multi-day transit passes that allow you to use buses, light rail, subway, and even suburban railroads without having to pony up a separate fare every time you want a ride. More cities, however, are limiting senior deals to residents. Here's a rundown of the options available in the top 12 domestic destination cities, according to TripAdvisor. In most cases, the qualifying age for seniors is 65; unless noted, a Medicare card is accepted as senior ID.

Chicago (transitchicago.com; metrarail.com)

Subway, elevated, and bus: Base fare $2.25 per ride. Unlimited ride pass: $10 for one day, $20 for three days, $28 for seven days. The one-day pass pays off only after five rides; the three-day pass is a better bet. Senior discounts are limited to residents.

Metra suburban rail fares based on distance; unlimited weekend pass, $7, is a good deal, if you want to get to some of the suburbs.

Honolulu (thebus.org)

Bus: Base fare $2.50 per ride; $1 for seniors. Unlimited four-day pass, $25 is maybe a good deal for travelers under 65 but not attractive for seniors.

Las Vegas (rtcsnv.com/transit; lvmonorail.com)

Bus: Base fare $2 for "residential routes," or $6 for a two-hour ticket on buses along the Strip. Unlimited passes, $8 for 24 hours, $20 for three-day pass. These passes are good deals if you want to "Strip-hop" the hotels, casinos, and restaurants. Senior discounts are limited to residents.

Monorail: Base fare $5. Unlimited passes one-day $12, two-day $22, three-day $36, $5-day $43, seven-day $56. Monorail is more fun but less convenient than Strip bus.

Los Angeles (metro.net)

Subway, light rail and bus: Base fare $1.50. Unlimited pass $5, a good deal for frequent hops. Senior discounts limited to residents.

New Orleans (norta.com)

Streetcar and bus: Base fare $1.25, senior $0.40. Unlimited passes one-day $3, three-day $9, good deal for moving around downtown.

New York City (mta.info)

Subway and bus: Base fare $2.50; senior fare $1.25. Unlimited passes seven-day $30, a good deal for hopping around town; senior seven-day pass, $15, requires pre-issued senior ID available at one office or online in advance.

Long Island and Metro North Regional rail: Base fares based on distance; seniors pay 50 percent (Medicare card ID)

Orlando (golynx.com)

Bus: Base fare $2. Unlimited pass seven-day for a fixed route, senior requires ID issued in advance and available online.

Portland (tri-met.org)

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