Questions after New York City delays Fair Fares transit program

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The much-anticipated plan to lend New Yorkers-in-need a helping hand when it comes to mass transit is now delayed, which has some city officials asking questions.

Now, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is calling for a total accounting of the Fair Fares transit plan that was scheduled to launch on New Year's Day.

Back in June, the city promised that the half-price MetroCard program for low-income residents would begin January 1 and provide a lifeline to 800,000 men, women and families who live below the poverty line.

The program would mean $750 a year to working families on average, which for some is a full month's rent.

Yet on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesperson tweeted that the program "hasn't started yet, and the eligibility standards haven't been released."

The mayor insisted that the city wants to get it right from the beginning.

"Everything I said I meant, and everything I said we follow through on," de Blasio said. "I'm telling you, in a few days, we'll be launching, and I think New Yorkers understand if you have an ideal goal and it takes a few extra days."

De Blasio would not specify whether the discounts would only apply to weekly and monthly MetroCards.

Commuters have seen an approximate 4 percent fare increase every other year since 2009, and now, officials say one out of four 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.

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