New York City is phasing in the new Fair Fairs program which offers half-priced MetroCards to low income residents.
Initially, only working New Yorkers at or below the federal poverty level receiving cash assistance benefits will qualify for discounted passes. In April, SNAP recipients are eligible.
“This system we are trying to build is one that is going to accommodate 160,000 people to get benefits in this fiscal year,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks. “We have a funding level to be able to roll out that level of the program. We want to make sure that when we roll it out it works properly.”
When the program rollout is complete, up to 800-thousand New York City residents may qualify for half priced fares.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was one of the lead advocates for the program.
“We will work to make sure all New Yorkers living at or below the federal poverty line have access to this program. I can promise you that as our mission, we are ready together to work on making this a reality.”
There’re currently no specific details on expanding the program beyond the current fiscal year.