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Half-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers backed by city officials

As fares continue to increase, city officials are calling upon Mayor de Blasio to help New Yorkers living below the poverty line

City officials are rallying behind a new initiative that would cut MetroCard fares in half for New Yorkers between the ages of 18 to 64 that are living below the federal poverty level, currently set at $24,000 a year for a family of four, reports DNAinfo.

At a campaign meeting held a City Hall, the reduced-fare MetroCard was supported by 30 officials, many of them council members, and a host of various advocacy groups, including major proponent for the initiative, Riders Alliance. The various groups issued a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, calling upon his administration to designate roughly $200 million for the program in his 2018 Fiscal Year Executive Budget.

"Making the city a more equitable place to live and work starts with ensuring that our vast public transportation system is both affordable and accessible to all New Yorkers, and not just the economically better off," declared CSS President and CEO David R. Jones. "So today we call on the mayor to take action that is consistent with his pledge to address social inequalities in our city, and recognize that public transportation is essential in the daily lives of New Yorkers trying to get to work, school and access economic opportunities across the city."

Unsurprisingly, a significant number of New Yorkers also seem to be in favor of the initiative. A poll conducted by the Community Service Society (CSS) revealed that 73 percent of those polled were in favor of the low-cost MetroCard and 62 percent said that they would be more likely to vote for a mayoral candidate that backed the proposal. If approved, about 800,000 New Yorkers would be eligible to take advantage of the program. As fares continue to rise, now is the perfect opportunity to assist individuals and families already struggling to make ends meet.

According to a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office, Mayor de Blasio will evaluate the plan.