A monthly MetroCard will cost you $121. That's more than $1,400 to ride the rails over the course of a year.
But City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has been saying for months that low-income New Yorkers shouldn't have to pay those prices. And now, sources tell NY1, he's reached a tentative deal with Mayor de Blasio to have the city fund half-price MetroCards.
"I look at it as a poverty reduction program. I don't look at it as us subsidizing the MTA. I look at it as us helping people be lifted up so they can become full citizens and hopefully achieve higher economic mobility," Johnson said.
According to sources, Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to spend $106 million to pay for the program for half a year only. Once it is up and running, which is expected to happen in January, 800,000 low-income New Yorkers would be eligible for the half-price cards, saving them more than $360 over the first six months. A family of four making less than $25,000 a year would qualify.
A source tells NY1 that the mayor is requiring the City Council to demonstrate the program is working before he agrees to spend any more money on it. They will have six months to make that happen.
In an interview on NY1, Johnson said there is no final deal to announce yet.
"We had a good meeting with members today to update them on where we are," he said. "I'm going to continue to talk to the mayor tomorrow and through the weekend."
De Blasio's press secretary also pushed back against the idea that an agreement is fully fleshed out. "No deal at this point. Still a little meat left on the bone," he wrote.
De Blasio had supported the concept of offering discounted MetroCards to poor New Yorkers, but he has repeatedly maintained the MTA should pay for it through a tax on millionaires.
Sources tell NY1 a deal on the entire city budget, which is expected to be more than $89 billion, could be reached by early next week.