Half-price MetroCard program launches, but only to 30K New Yorkers

The Fair Fares program is planning to expand to another 130,000
New Yorkers in April

A few days after being criticized for the
delay of the roll-out of the Fair Fares program
, Mayor Bill de
Blasio, joined by City Council speaker Corey Johnson and several
local elected officials, announced the launch of the discount
MetroCard program that will benefit low-income New Yorkers.

On Wednesday, January 2—a day after the Fair Fares program was
slated to begin—someone posed a question to the MTA’s NYCT
Subway twitter account, inquiring about how to go about obtaining
applications for the program. This led to Mayor de Blasio’s
spokesperson revealing that the program hadn’t started yet,
though it was “coming soon.” However, during the Friday
announcement, the mayor expressed that he promised the program
would begin in the beginning of January, and he is satisfied with
the launch date, given that it’s only three days late.

“What we’re doing here today is going to change the lives of
thousands of New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “There has
never been a time that low-income New Yorkers got MetroCard
discounts like this. It means the doors of opportunity will open
up.” The program will offer discounts on 7-day and 30-day
MetroCard passes (regular prices are $32 and $121, respectively),
but
single-ride discounts won’t be available
.

At the announcement for the program launch, the mayor was
criticized for the limited amount of New Yorkers that will be
eligible to join the initial roll-out of Fair Fares: Of the 800,000
New Yorkers that are estimated to be living below the federal
poverty level line of $25,000 a year for a family of four, only
30,000 who are employed and already receiving cash assistance from
the city will be eligible for the discount MetroCards. In April,
the city plans on expanding the program to another 130,000
residents receiving federal food stamps.

Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks said
that the city is still in the process of creating a system where
applicants can apply online for the discounts cards. The system in
not expected to roll out until April and the 30,000 applicants who
will receive benefits now are those that have already been deemed
eligible for the program.

“This was a long process, but I will say that all of our
hearts have been in the right place since day one and the mayor’s
ultimate goal was always about getting it right,” said City
Council speaker Corey Johnson.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Half-price MetroCard program launches, but only to 30K New Yorkers