New York

As transit fares soar, NYC advocates push for discounts

Samuel Santaella, 23, from the Queens borough of New York, speaks during an interview the offices of Riders Alliance, in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.  The Riders Alliance,  a commuter advocacy group, along with the anti-poverty group Community Service Society of New York, has been calling on Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to include an estimated $200 million in the city’s preliminary budget plan this January that would help pay for discounted subway and bus rides.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Samuel Santaella, 23, from the Queens borough of New York, speaks during an interview the offices of Riders Alliance, in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. The Riders Alliance, a commuter advocacy group, along with the anti-poverty group Community Service Society of New York, has been calling on Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to include an estimated $200 million in the city’s preliminary budget plan this January that would help pay for discounted subway and bus rides. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

For most New Yorkers, subways and buses are necessities of city living that fall right behind food, clothing and shelter.

But with the price of 30-day transit pass possibly primed to rise as high as $121, they're also on the verge of becoming unaffordable for the 1.7 million city residents living in poverty.

The cost of getting around has gotten so high that some advocates are proposing that New York join a handful of other cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, in offering discounted rides to some low-income residents.

They want Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to spend an estimated $200 million on a reduced fare program.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency that oversees the New York City transit system, has a fare hike planned for March.