NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York City Council is pushing for reduced fare MetroCards for low-income residents.
"I remember when regular transit used to be 2 dollars," said Natalia Joseph, a frequent rider. "Now we're paying $2.75 and every year it's going up."
Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers can't afford to ride the bus or subway, living at or below the poverty line.
A new proposal called "Fair Fares" would provide low-income families with half priced MetroCards, and it's gaining traction among council members.
"We want them to have access to our subway system," said NYC Council speaker Corey Johnson, a supporter of the plan. Where the $200 million required for the plan will come from has yet to be determined.
"We're going to go through our budget process, we're going to see what happens in the state budget, we have to look at federal risk, state risk," said Johnson. "But we know that everyone should be able to ride the subway."
Mayor Bill De Blasio supports making the fare more affordable for low-income passengers. He, however, wants a millionaire's tax to pay for it.
Advocacy groups like Riders Alliance are putting pressure on the Mayor to fund "Fair Fares" in the next fiscal budget, and not wait for the state to approve a millionaires tax.
"What the average New Yorker might not see is how many low-income folks are also skipping meals or walking long distances because they can't afford their MetroCard to work or school," said Rebecca Bailin of Rider's Alliance.
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NYC council pushes for fare decrease for low-income subway riders.
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