My post about seniors riding the subway for half price received some comments that are examples of bad economic reasoning.
Karen wrote, "It's market segmentation. Some people won't ride the subway at full price but will ride it at half price." I don't see why seniors wouldn't ride the subway at full price. Two dollars isn't a whole lot of money, and it's a lot less than a cab ride or driving. (For those who have never driven around New York City, a drive into Manhattan can often mean $7 in tolls plus $30 for parking.) Nor do I see why we should care if some people don't ride the subway, they are crowded enough anyway, even during the non-rush hour periods.
Also, people in high school or college have less money to ride the subways than seniors do. When I was a student, a subway fare seemed like a lot of money to me! Yet my retired grandparents always seemed to have plenty of money even though they were non-college graduates and neither of my grandmothers ever worked after they got married.
xx y writes, "Most of those people are not riding during the peek [sic] hours." Now that card readers have replaced tokens in the NYC subways, if the MTA wants to give a discount for peak hours, such a policy can easily be implemented. The Washington, DC subways have different fares for peak and off-peak travel. And as I wrote before, during the off-peak hours, the subways are still pretty darn crowded.
xx y also writes, "NYC wants to keep those seniors in the state anyway, they pay income taxes on those pensions, IRA withdraws, and SS." There is something to the theory that seniors are more beneficial to the local economy, mainly because they don't have any children using up costly public education services. But there are more efficient ways of keeping them in the city. How about a direct tax break on their local income taxes? I seriously doubt a half price subway fare is preventing anyone from moving to Florida.