MetroCard Machine

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Fair Fares Discount MetroCard Program Included In City Budget Deal

June 12, 2018 - 11:53 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council agreed to an $89.2 billion budget plan late Monday.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the highlight of the budget deal was the funding of the half-priced MetroCard program for low-income New Yorkers.

At the mere mention of the $106 million expenditure, councilmembers surrounding the mayor erupted in applause and cheers.

"Tremendous kudos to the council and to the speaker for the focus on fair fares,” de Blasio said. “I believe that Speaker Johnson said the words fair fares to me an unfair number of times."

The mayor said the program, scheduled to begin in January, will be run by the city and will not be funding sent directly to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

It is estimated that 800,000 New Yorkers would qualify for the half-fare subway program by having a household income of $25,000 or less for a family of four.