Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
The Fair Fares program will account for about $106 million of the new $89 billion budget.
By Michael V. Cusenza
One of the highlights of this year’s balanced City budget is the deal struck between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council to make the Fair Fares public transportation program part of the $89 billion pact.
According to straphangers advocacy group the Riders Alliance, the agreement calls for the City to spend $106 million in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget to provide half-priced transit fares to city residents with annual incomes at or below poverty, which is about $25,000 for a family of four. Approximately 800,000 working-age New Yorkers would be eligible for the program and could save up to $726 dollars a year on the cost of a MetroCard.
“For too long, our transit system has been priced out of reach for the New Yorkers who need it most, and our entire city has suffered as a result,” said John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance. “Fair Fares is an enormous step toward addressing that problem.”
De Blasio on Tuesday delivered remarks at a celebratory rally at the Fulton Street subway station in Manhattan.
“First and foremost, it’s a moral matter, but it’s also about the future of this city – a fair place that people want to be; a fair place that people can believe in, where everyone has a sense of belonging, and they know that we are actually all in it together,” the mayor said. “That is the city we are all at work building; one where everyone is respected and everyone is honored, and that’s what is being achieved here today with this huge step forward for Fair Fares, and everyone has a part of that victory.