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NYC’s half-priced MetroCard program now has 50,000 participants

The city’s Fair Fares program has been gradually expanding since its January launch


Five months after the city rolled out its Fair Fares program, officials say there are more than 50,000 New Yorkers currently enrolled and receiving half-priced MetroCards.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council speaker Corey Johnson, said that “participation increased dramatically,” after the Human Resources Administration’s (HRA) digital enrollment option launched in April.

“We look forward to serving and assisting more low-income families in the months to come because we understand that for some people, the cost of a swipe is unmanageable,” Johnson said.

Initially, the program only applied to unlimited MetroCards, and was available to 30,000 New Yorkers—those who are making at or below the federal poverty line, and are already receiving cash assistance or SNAP benefits from the city. But the program has been gradually expanding since its January launch.

In March, officials rolled out the pay-per-ride option and announced that in the fall, the program would be made available to eligible NYCHA residents, CUNY students, and veterans at or below 100 percent of poverty line. And in January 2020, there will be an open enrollment process for New Yorkers living in poverty who don’t already receive discounted MetroCards through the city or the MTA.

“We continue doubling down on our outreach efforts as we bring this game-changing resource to even more New Yorkers who need it,” HRA spokesperson Lourdes Centeno recently told Curbed.

The announcement comes a couple of weeks after the MTA approved to provide full-fare MetroCards to K-12 students who currently receive half-fare ones.