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High school students in New York City will soon be able to purchase City Ferry tickets for $1.35, down from the standard fare of $4, following a city council vote. The decision will come into force on 1 September and aims to reduce the travel costs of students and their families. In addition, students will receive a municipal identity card providing free access to museums and cultural institutions. The concession will be offered to teenagers after similar fare reductions were extended to seniors, low-income passengers and people with disabilities in 2022.
New York introduces ferry discounts and free admission to museums for high school students
New York City high school students will soon be able to ride the City Ferry at a discount. In addition, they will be issued a municipal identity card with the right to free admission to museums and cultural institutions. The city council approved this on March 16, according to Gothamist.
The bill, sponsored by council member Amanda Farias of the Bronx, would allow teens to ride the city ferry for $1.35 instead of the full fare of $4.
Teenagers have become the latest group to pay reduced fares on the most expensive form of public transport. The city began offering reduced fares of $1.35 for seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income passengers in 2022.
“Not only are we influencing our students and how they can afford to travel to school, but we are also reducing travel costs for families of students,” Farias said at a press conference. The bill is expected to come into force on 1 September.
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The Council voted in favor of a bill sponsored by Council member Rita Joseph of Brooklyn. This document requires high school students to apply for a municipal identity card at the beginning of each school year.
In addition to being the official form of government identification, IDNYC is also available to undocumented New Yorkers. It provides free and preferential access to programs and cultural institutions. It can help you open a bank account, get a job, and get food stamps.
An attempt to make the ferry cheaper for students was last fall
This was before the city raised fares from $2.75 to help generate more revenue for the heavily taxpayer-subsidized ferry system.
While a one-way ticket costs the average passenger $4 (nearly double the standard $2.75 required for a subway or bus ride), the funds still aren’t enough to cover the cost of running the city’s ferry system. Officials previously halted plans to expand the ferry system after an oversight committee found the city understated costs related to the ferry system by nearly $224 million from 2015 to 2021.
And as local officials respond to calls from residents to make the ferry as affordable as possible, the city is expected to absorb the costs. The decision to include high school students in the concessionary travel program came amid tense negotiations between the Budget Board and the administration of Mayor Eric Adams.
The $1.35 that high school students are allowed to pay for several months still makes the ferry a more expensive way to travel. The bottom line is that bus or subway travel is free for students in grades K-12 on school days.
When asked about the difference in ferry fares and other modes of transport for schoolchildren, Farias said she knows families in her Bronx County who have already decided their children will take the ferry.
“In my opinion, you need to start somewhere, especially for young people who are already paying $8 round trip, or $40 a week,” she concluded.
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