City to expand Fair Fares program to all eligible New Yorkers by 2020

NEW YORK — More New Yorkers will be eligible for cheaper MetroCards in a planned expansion of the Fair Fares program, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said.

The city is expected to expand the program to eligible New Yorkers in NYCHA, enrolled students at CUNY and military veterans below 100 percent of poverty line starting this fall.

The Fair Fares program was established in an effort to address poverty through the development of a half-priced MetroCard program for low-income New Yorkers.

“We’re doing all we can to help low-income riders get around in a city that can be very difficult to afford. We think this program will go a long way toward making our city even fairer and we’re excited to expand this unprecedented initiative to more New Yorkers,” said de Blasio on Monday.

By the beginning of 2020, the city plans to launch an open enrollment process for eligible New Yorkers at or below the Federal Poverty line who don’t have discounted transportation from the MTA or city.

Johnson released the following statement:

“Fair Fares is a landmark program for New York City, helping the many New Yorkers who truly need it most. No New Yorker should have to choose between a swipe and a meal. Fair Fares is an example of our City’s commitment to providing equal opportunity for all. I am excited we are starting the outreach program, which will enable us to expand Fair Fares and help as many New Yorkers as possible. I thank Mayor de Blasio, my Council colleagues, and especially the tireless advocates for their support in making Fair Fares a reality for low-income New Yorkers and their families.”

In an effort to reach more New Yorkers who are eligible, the city will launch a three-month targeted online campaign in March, which will appear across social media platforms and target the top 25 city zip codes where there are large numbers of eligible candidates to raise awareness of the program.

Last spring, the Mayor and Council announced a plan to fund $106 million for the Fair Fares NYC program in the first year.

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