MTA hosts most expansive single day of action for Fair Fares enrollment

April 1, 2024
The “Fair Fares Day of Action” informed riders of eligibility requirements and provided the opportunity to enroll on the spot.

On March 28, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held the most expansive single day of action in all five boroughs of New York City (NYC) to promote and enroll riders into the city’s half-priced Fair Fares program in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, the NYC Department of Social Services (DSS) and NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA).  

According to the MTA, while 327,000 NYC residents are enrolled, more than a million are estimated to be eligible. The “Fair Fares Day of Action” informed riders of eligibility requirements and provided the opportunity to enroll on the spot. The program offers a 50 percent discount on the full fare to NYC residents aged 18 to 64, who live in a household that meets income guidelines, and eligible Access-A-Ride customers. 

“Transit is all about equity and by providing eligible New Yorkers the ability to ride the subway and bus system for half price, Fair Fares has been a game-changer, helping thousands of customers ride transit affordably,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “I want every eligible New Yorker to benefit from Fair Fares and to spread the word that we’re proud to host the biggest single day of action in New York City to connect customers to the Fair Fares program at subway stations in all five boroughs, all possible through a tremendous collaborative effort between the MTA and city agencies. We won’t rest until every customer knows these programs exist, and I encourage every eligible New Yorker to apply.” 

“We want to make sure that every New Yorker that is eligible for a discounted fare is aware of the benefits available to them by connecting folks to the right resources,” said MTA Chief Customer Officer and Senior Advisor Shanifah Rieara. “This is such an important message and I am proud of today’s collective interagency effort to provide information to New Yorkers living in low-income households on how to save on their transportation costs.” 

As outlined in the Blue-Ribbon Report on MTA Fare and Toll Evasion, the authority is expanding awareness around the Fair Fares program among the riding public to actively increase enrollment. City representatives and MTA staff informed and directed riders to the right resources and information while offering the opportunity to sign up on site.  

The “Fair Fares Day of Action” expands on the city’s existing once-a-month customer engagement events led by HRA garnering Fair Fares registrations at Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue D N F Q and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue 7 E F M R, where there are Customer Service Centers located at those stations. As of January 2022, 250,000 riders were enrolled in the program. That same year, the partnership between the MTA, DSS, HRA and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit was launched to build on the city’s ongoing outreach and progress, which has now reached more than 327,000 enrollments. 

 The events supplemented the ongoing TransitTalks held by NYC Transit leaders across the subway system, which in addition to engaging with customers and collecting feedback, also feature answering questions from day-to-day riders and sharing information about the various discounted fare options available to riders. 

“Fair Fares is a lifeline for low-income New Yorkers, and since expanding eligibility to 120 percent of the federal poverty level and focusing our outreach on neighborhoods with higher concentrations of potentially eligible individuals, we’ve seen a record number of New Yorkers enroll in the program and begin saving on transit costs but we know there are many more residents who would greatly benefit from this discount so we continue to prioritize outreach with elected officials, community-based organizations and our government partners to educate and enroll eligible New Yorkers across the city. We are thrilled to join the MTA today to highlight Fair Fares and we look forward to working together to advance transit equity and support our disadvantaged communities,” said NYC DSS First Deputy Commissioner Jill Berry.  

 "The transit system is the city's lifeline—connecting New Yorkers to opportunities, loved ones, and vital community resources," said NYC Executive Director of the Public Engagement Unit Adrienne Lever. "Fair Fares ensures that low-income New Yorkers have equitable access to this essential service. That's why the Public Engagement Unit is proud to join the MTA and DSS to help get the word out about Fair Fares today and all year long, by supporting with targeted in-person outreach, text message campaigns and phone banking."