Push to make discount MTA fare program more well-known for low income commuters

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A new program starting in January will discount subway and bus fares for some low income New Yorkers. However, some lawmakers say some of the people who can benefit from the program don't even know it exists - now there is a major push to change that.

City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez is among those who are concerned that low-income families do not know about the 'Fair Fare' program that will allow them to afford MetroCards.

"People need to be getting emails, putting ads on the radio, TV. We need to put manpower in the street," says Rodriguez.

Commuters have seen an approximate four percent fare increase every other year since 2009, and now officials say 1 out of 4 New Yorkers cannot afford to ride the trains or buses to get to places like work, a job interview, or even a doctor's appointment.

"If they are going to discount fares for the people who can't afford it, it's good," says commuter Fernando Santana.

The city allocated $106 million this year toward the program, and councilmembers are hoping to add more to next year's budget.

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