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Fair Fares and the Bronx


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Update on half-price MetroCards or the poor using the latest census poverty figures and 2017 Unheard Third Survey

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Fair Fares and the Bronx

  1. 1. Fair Fares and the Bronx: Update on half-price MetroCards for the poor using the latest census poverty figures and 2017 Unheard Third Survey November 2017 Nancy Rankin, VP for Policy Research and Advocacy Irene Lew, Policy Analyst
  2. 2. 2 The Bronx has the City’s highest poverty rate—25%—among working- age residents. Half-price MetroCards would help them get ahead. Source: US Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey. 25% 18% 16% 12% 11% 16% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island NYC Poverty rate for working-age New Yorkers (ages 18-64 ) by borough
  3. 3. The Unheard Third 2017 3 More than 1 in 4 working-age Bronx residents below poverty struggle to pay subway and bus fares. Q: Have you or any member of your household often been unable to afford subway and bus fares in the last year? 25% 28% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Citywide Bronx Share of poor, working-age (18-64) respondents who said “Yes”
  4. 4. The Unheard Third 2017 4 Lack of affordable public transit limits job opportunities and the ability to get needed services. Q: How frequently has the cost of subway or bus fares prevented you from doing important things like getting medical care? 20% 26% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% % who said "very often" or "sometimes" Among poor, working-age (18-64) respondents Citywide Bronx Q: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I have not been able to look for or take a job further away from where I live because of the cost of subway or bus fares. 31% 32% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% % who agree Among poor, working-age (18-64) respondents Citywide Bronx
  5. 5. The Unheard Third 2017 5 New Yorkers overwhelmingly support Fair Fares, including 8 out of 10 Bronx residents who favor the policy. 10% 5% 58% 74% -30% -10% 10% 30% 50% 70% 90% Citywide Bronx Not so strongly oppose Strongly oppose Not so strongly favor Strongly favor Favor 72% 80% 15% 3% Oppose Q: Do you favor or oppose a policy to make half-price subway and bus fares available to low-income New Yorkers, like the City already does for seniors and people with disabilities, or are you not sure?
  6. 6. The Unheard Third 2017 6 The Community Service Society designed this survey in collaboration with Lake Research Partners, who administered the survey by phone using professional interviewers. The survey was conducted from July 12 to August 15, 2017. The survey reached a total of 1,761 New York City residents, age 18 or older, divided into two samples: •1,132 low-income residents (up to 200% of federal poverty standards, or FPL) comprise the first sample: – 587 poor respondents, from households earning at or below 100% FPL – 545 near-poor respondents, from households earning 101% - 200% FPL •629 moderate- and higher-income residents (above 200% FPL) comprise the second sample: – 428 moderate-income respondents, from households earning 201% - 400% FPL – 201 higher-income respondents, from households earning above 400% FPL •This year’s survey also included an oversample of 528 cell phone interviews among adult residents at up to 400% FPL. Telephone numbers for the low-income sample were drawn using random digit dial (RDD) among exchanges in census tracts with an average annual income of no more than $40,840. Telephone numbers for the higher income sample were drawn using RDD in exchanges in the remaining census tracts. The data were weighted slightly by income level, gender, region, age, and race in order to ensure that it accurately reflects the demographic configuration of these populations. Interviews were conducted in English, Spanish, and Chinese. In interpreting survey results, all sample surveys are subject to possible sampling error; that is, the results of a survey may differ from those which would be obtained if the entire population were interviewed. The size of the sampling error depends on both the total number of respondents in the survey and the percentage distribution of responses to a particular question. The margin of error for the low income component is 3.0%. The margin of error for the higher income component is 4.0%. Methodology