Rally For Fair Fares

WCBS 880

Advocates Rally For Half-Price MetroCards To Be Included In City Budget

June 03, 2018 - 2:12 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Days before the New York City budget was set to be finalized, low-income New Yorkers on Sunday rallied at City Hall for half-price MetroCards.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, the protesters were fed up because, they said, they wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to fund half-price MetroCards in the 2019 budget – and they have not heard back.

“If you heard us – if you heard low-income New Yorkers explain that we’re jumping turnstiles; that folks are skipping meals, begging for swipes, or walking long distances just so they can get to where they need to go; so they can get to work; to school; to doctors’ appointments – maybe if he heard these stories face to face, he would understand that low-income New Yorkers can’t wait,” said Rebecca Ballin of the Riders Alliance.

Most people pay $2.75 to ride the subway and city buses. Those at the rally emphasized that many cannot afford it.

“Listen to the voices of these New Yorkers – of the people; the low-income New Yorkers who you promised to help when they elected you,” said Nancy Rankin of the Community Service Society of New York. “Get on board for fair fares so that all of us can get on board. Mr. Mayor, swipe us in!”

The people rallying Sunday do have the support of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who has made fair fares a centerpiece of the council’s response to the mayor’s spending plan.

The 2019 fiscal year begins July 1.