Mayor de Blasio and the city council have reached agreement on a “Fair Fares” program that would offer half-price MetroCards to the poor. The measure, which advocates suggest will reduce fare evasion in the subways, is meant to ease the cost of transit for those living below the poverty level. But the cost of subsidizing subway and bus fares for 800,000 New Yorkers could run as high as $250 million annually. For the city, taking on yet another entitlement program is fiscally unwise.
The Facts You Need to Know
Cramp: Subsidized fares will increase ridership, which is already at or near capacity. Read more.
Cushion: The city’s existing reserves should be protected, as they are not sufficient to cushion against an economic downturn. Read more.
Poor: There is little evidence that fare evasion is driven by economic necessity. Read more.
“Where have all these ‘Fair Fares’ supporters been while my constituents pay $6.50 for a bus to Manhattan, or shell out $15 tolls to subsidize a subway system we don’t have access to?”
The Past is Present
”The MTA should spread its holiday cheer year-round.”
And in other news...
”The city’s so-called Absent Teacher Reserve, which de Blasio has vowed to fix for years, topped out at 1,202 employees as of the start of this school year, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission published Thursday.”