Posted on April 11, 2018
Fair fares proposal for half-priced MetroCards to be included in City Council budget response, Johnson says
The city should fund half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers, @NYCSpeakerCoJo says, disagreeing with de Blasio on how to pay for the initiative https://t.co/ALvSyLXUH0 pic.twitter.com/LiDU8dxfeV
— amNewYork (@amNewYork) April 10, 2018
(Photo: Charles Eckert)
In New York, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has made funding the policy — known as the “Fair Fares” proposal — a key priority during this year’s budget negotiations.
“You can’t really lead a stable life if you can’t afford subway fares,” said Johnson at a City Hall news conference announcing the budget response. “And we also believe this will help with fare evasion. A lot of people who — not all — but a lot of people who end up jumping the turnstile are people who can’t afford a subway fare. So we think this will help in a criminal justice-related way [and] it will help people in poverty.”
But de Blasio has remained opposed to the idea that the city should pay for such a program out of its $88 billion budget. While he has said he supports the merits of Fair Fares, he believes that the state, which operates the MTA, should be responsible for paying for the subsidy. He had pitched that the state could fund Fair Fares through his millionaire’s tax proposal, an idea widely considered to be politically dead in Albany.
“Mayor de Blasio talks about making New York City the fairest big city. Meanwhile, we have so many other cities that are ahead of us in fighting anti-poverty,” said Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager at Riders Alliance. “There is no good reason that Mayor de Blasio can’t step up and do the same here.”