Back in June, the city finally reached a deal to fund half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers and while the details are still being worked out, the program is scheduled to begin in January 2019.
At a MTA board meeting held on Tuesday, it was revealed that the Fair Fares program will start by offering 7-day and 30-day MetroCard passes at half-price (regular prices are $32 and $121, respectively), but single-ride discounts won’t be available when the program launches, reports Gothamist.
While transit advocates have praised the program, it has also been stated that for it to truly be beneficial for those who need it most, single ride discounts must be offered as well. Though it isn’t being offered during the initial roll out, there is hope that it single-ride discounts will be offered later on.
“We always envisioned riders being able to purchase any fare type at half price and hope that this flexibility is added as the program rolls out,” said David Jones, MTA board member and President and CEO of the Community Service Society, David Jones in a statement to Gothamist. “Choice is important to all customers, especially for those who are financially constrained.”
The Fair Fares program will be open to New Yorkers who live below the federal poverty line—that’s under $12,000/year for an individual and under $24,399/year for a family of four. The MTA plans to study the impact that the program has on fare evasion for the duration of the program.