Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fare discounts for the poor?

From the Daily News:

Seniors and people with disabilities can get half-price reduced fares on the MTA. There is a case to be made for that: They are more likely to live on limited incomes and travel at nonpeak times — and may have difficulty walking distances.

But what about those on really limited incomes, the poor? In the same survey, we asked New Yorkers whether or not they favor offering half-price fares to low-wage workers. Nearly seven of 10 (69%) said they like the idea. Eighty-three percent of low-income New Yorkers favor it, including nearly three-quarters (73%) who strongly back the proposal.

Some smaller cities are already trying this. Madison, Wis., offers low-income bus passes to riders who certify that their incomes are at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority offers reduced, low-income fares of $1, a 75-cent discount off the regular price per ride.

Applying these kinds of policies to the city’s mass transit system would require much more intensive planning to guard against abuses and negative impacts on rush-hour crowding and revenues, but we should start crunching the numbers.

If low-wage workers cannot afford to take a trip now, then the revenue loss might be small, and the main impact would be to increase ridership.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

No. If the poor can't afford a subway fare then give them extra cash. Don't give them a MetroCard they'll usually just sell for less than it is worth anyway.

georgetheatheist said...

I for it. Also, free, or subsidized bicycles.

Anonymous said...

"Low wage workers who cannot afford to take a trip" are priced out of NYC. There is a whole country that abounds with low wage jobs at a fraction of the cost of living. (Yes, even WITH having a modest fuel efficient car.)

r185 said...

Putting aside whether or not it's sound policy, it's another example of how we're all subsidizing the Wal-Marts of the world. They create a situation where their employees are on food stamps and other subsidies on our dime.

Anonymous said...

There exists already a program for seniors (age 65+) to get a metrocard that allows them to ride bus and subway at half price.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's a senior discount. Kids get free passes to get to school as well. These aren't poor discounts.

Anonymous said...

Giving cheap fare doesn't make up for exorbitant rent paid by a lot of New Yorkers. This is becoming an unaffordable city except for those who have the bucks to live here. The notion that young people can come to the big apple...tough it out and make their fortunes...is quickly disappearing. Try another city youngsters. Opportunities are vanishing and you will be crushed by the daily expenses of existing in a merciless metropolis.

Joe Moretti said...

None of this kind of stuff would be necessary if the USA companies did not ship so many jobs oversees with our government's approval for the last couple of decades.When everyone is working and at a good living wage, everyone benefits from that and you have a healthy economy. That is simple Economics 101.

Everyone complains about the Democrats (and they certainly have their issues) helping the poor, but at the same time the Republicans (plain horrible in every way) create tons of corporate welfare for the mega rich and big companies, yet that is rarely talked about. That is by far way more destructive to this country than putting in place some program to help the poor, BUT as I said, if this country brought back all the jobs it shipped overseas over the decades, we would not have so many poor and we would have a healthy middle class.

The poor and illegal immigrants are NOT the issue, the issue is corporate welfare and corporate lobbyist who control both parties, but especially the Republicans of this day and age. One only needs to look at the perfect example of what not to do. The economic disaster that the Republican Governor Sam Brownback created in Kansas through the trickle down economics. He destroyed what was an extremely healthy economy before he took office, yet that asshole was re-elected by a bunch of other assholes.

That is the crux of the issues we are having.

Anonymous said...

Why the F are the disabled getting discounts?? I thoight they wanted equal rights???

But nope....its time & half on tests in the academic setting and discounts on Metrocards now?

This socialist experiment sickens me as an American.

Anonymous said...

@ Joe - Trickle down economics is the theory of both parties. This is why the Federal Reserve for the last 6 years gives banks free money so the upper 1% can buy art and penthouses. This all under a Democrat President. So spare me the evil GOP boogie man nonsense. BOTH PARTIES have betrayed the middle class.

Anonymous said...

Joe - I said all the way back to Regan that they were dumbing down America and will create slave labor - Thank God they did not succeed with you.

Anonymous said...

Then the city would have to hire Eligibility Specialists to administer the program.

Joe Moretti said...



Anonymous said...

@ Joe - Trickle down economics is the theory of both parties.

--------
Both parties may have betrayed the middle class, the but the Republican party is way more supportive of corporate welfare than the Democratic party. But we all know that Trickle down does not work as was scene in Kansas by a Republican Governor, which he knew exactly what was going to happen when the put things into place and of course it did.

I never placed entire blame on Republicans and never stated "evil GOP boogie man", you termed that. I am stating that both parties are at fault, but one party is more detrimental to the working class than the other and one is even more beholden to corporations than the other (Republicans), although both take blame for that issue.



Anonymous said...

You couldn't afford the products you demand if they weren't made cheaper overseas.

Anonymous said...

The last time I bought a US made Stanley hammer it cost me on fifth what it cost to buy a Stanley hammer made overseas. If you want their Connecticut made tools...prepare to give up eating for a week. Themselves is da facts folks. Learn to live with Em!

Anonymous said...

@Joe,

1) Both parties on the state-wide and national stage take sizable donations from big corporations. This is a matter of public record.
2) The "corporate welfare" imbalance is more by way of the tax code - on this you are correct; Republicans has largely supported such measures which benefit the wealthiest.
3) Democrats have had a far stronger impact on eviscerating the middle class by means of expensive, poorly-incentivized social programs that rip at the fabric of middle and poor working class communities to pander to votes among the least well-off, often enriching the more locally wealthy donors that fund their campaigns. It's THIS which is largely to blame for the problems NYC faces and has faced in varying stages over the last 150 years in machine politics.

Let's not confuse the national problems with what happens here. They are related, but separate problems.

Anonymous said...

This idea is ripe for abuse by those that make ample cash only incomes. The City is terrible at administering benefits to those that really need it.

Anonymous said...

Do we need more people riding the subway? Also- go on any bus and see how many poor people actually pay. Ask any bus driver how many people fare beat because there aren't cops on every bus like they are at certain train stations. Watch grown adults open back doors and stroll in.

We already subsidize free trips to poor people.

Anonymous said...

Sure, i'll just pay more for my ride then. no fucking problem. right?

Fuck this city of parasites. I've lived here my whole life. My parents were born here. My grandparents were born here. My great grandmother was born here. I've had family in NYC since before the revolution.

But now, i can't wait to leave. My other family members have already done so over the last decade. Im the last out the door.

This city isn't for working New Yorkers any more.

zee zeem said...

Free Pre-K, subsidized housing, free health care, free education, free after school program, and now subsidized metro cards…is there nothing that will not be given to the "low income" at the expense of middle class tax payers?

Anonymous said...

If you do it, do it for off hours when there is more capacity. There is space on the trains and buses Midday, evenings, Late Nite and Weekend.

Anonymous said...

Time to quit my taxpayer job and grab the freebies!