NYC Council includes funding for reduced-fare MetroCards for some low-income riders

MetroCards connect riders to the city.

Leaders want to make sure the cost of transit does not keep people at the poverty level from traveling.

For two years, the "Fair Fares" initiative has been discussed. Transit advocacy groups and the Community Service Society have called for the program.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined elected leaders and riders at a rally outside City Hall on Wednesday in support of it.

$212 million dollars in funding has been included in the city council's budget proposal. They're currently negotiating the city budget with Mayor de Blasio and his administration.

"The Council’s budget proposal to fully fund half-priced bus and subway fares for working-age New Yorkers with incomes at or below poverty takes dead aim at the city’s affordability crisis, offering relief to hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers struggling to get to work, commute to college, to medical appointments and home to their families," said David Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society (CSS) and an MTA Board Member.

It's estimated 800,000 New York City neighbors could be eligible for annual savings of about $700. It would be based on the federal poverty level similar to the qualification for food benefits.

The Mayor has said the program is noble but he believes it needs to have a long-term funding stream.