NYC to fund half-priced MetroCards for the poor

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council struck a budget deal Monday that fund half-priced MetroCards for the poorest new Yorkers—for at least half a year.

The mayor had resisted but ultimately supported the measure to give New Yorkers who earn below the federal poverty line—about $12,000 for individuals and $24,339 for a family of four.

"The beauty of this idea, in terms of making this the fairest big city in America, is going to help so many New Yorkers to reach opportunity," de Blasio said. "Too often it's hard to reach because of just your lack of resources."

The mayor and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson shook hands on an $89.2 billion budget deal that includes $106 million over six months, starting January 2019, to fund the half-priced subway and bus fares.

Johnson and de Blasio said they hope to convince the state's Legislature to allocate ongoing funding for discounted MetroCards beyond the initial six-month period.