Fair Fares: New York City budget includes $106 million for discount MetroCard program

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A big addition to the newly agreed-upon $89.15 billion New York City budget is a program that subsidizes MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council agreed to an allocation of more than $100 million from the spending plan to Fair Fares, which will provide half-price subway and bus rides to residents living under the federal poverty line.

After discussions of funding the subsidization through a millionaires tax, de Blasio ultimately agreed to set aside $106 million of the city budget for the initiative.

Shani Rahman, a single mother in the Bronx, previously begged for swipes and jumped turnstiles. After writing an op-ed in favor of the reduced fares, Rahman said that, "not only is it going to help me, but it's going to help other low-income New Yorkers."

New York City residents who make about $25,000 a year or less for a family of four will qualify for the subsidized MetroCards.

Fair Fares will begin in January of next year. An estimated 800,000 New Yorkers will qualify.

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