With the City Council's approval of the two initiatives on Thursday, high school students in New York City will soon be able to utilize the city's ferry system for less money and acquire a municipal ID that entitles them to free admission to museums and other cultural institutions.
A bill introduced by Bronx Councilwoman Amanda Faras will reduce the cost of using the city's ferry system for teenagers from $4 to $1.35.
They are the most recent group to pay a reduced fare to use the most expensive kind of public transit that the city operates. In 2022, the city started charging $1.35 less per ride for low-income, elderly, and disabled passengers.
The IDNYC Card
The Council also approved a measure introduced by Brooklyn councilwoman Rita Joseph that requires high school students to obtain an application for a municipal ID at the start of each academic year.
The IDNYC card, which is also accessible to undocumented New Yorkers, enables free and reduced access to programs and cultural institutions in addition to acting as an official form of government identification. It can be used to start a bank account, submit a job application, and apply for food assistance.
The Ferry System Prices
Prior to the city raising the cost from $2.75 to help create more cash for the ferry system, which is largely supported by taxpayers, the campaign to make the boat more affordable for students started last fall.
Although a one-way boat ticket costs the average traveler $4, nearly twice as much as the $2.75 required for a trip on the bus or subway, the prices are insufficient to pay for the upkeep of the city's ferry system.
After an oversight committee discovered the city underreported about $224 million in ferry-related spending from 2015 to 2021, officials previously put the expansion of the ferry system on hold.
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