New bill would help New Yorkers save on MetroCards

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are missing out on a long-standing federal program that would allow them to save money on their mass transit expenses.

City Council member Dan Gorodnick is trying to change that.  Under his proposed Affordable Transit Act, companies with 20 or more employees would be required to offer their employees the opportunity to put aside up to  $130 a month before taxes to pay for their MetroCards.

Currently, only some businesses provide the tax break.

The average New Yorker who makes the city’s median income and buys a $112 monthly MetroCard could save $443 a year, according to a report released by the advocacy group Riders Alliance.

“Many of us feel like the MTA treats us like a piggy bank,” Garodnick said at a press conference in lower Manhattan on Sunday.  “Helping New Yorkers take advantage of this tax benefit is an important way we can put a little more cash in their pockets at the end of the day.”

Businesses would benefit too.  Each year employers can save $103 for every employee at the median wage who participates in the program.

The legislation, according to the Riders Alliance, would make it possible for 605,000 new riders to get the transit benefit at a time when fares are going up every other year.

The bill also applies to people who live outside the city, but work in the city.

Gorodnick plans to introduce it to city council members on Tuesday.

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