This morning, Sound Transit started a new program aimed at "income inequality": it's a little blue card that cuts bus, train, and ferry fares in half for low-income folks. How special, and how regressive; a big reason for going to cards instead of issuing packets of food stamps, after all, was to avoid "stigmatizing" the unfortunate folks who could barely scrape together enough cash for booze, dope, and smokes. Now these folks will doubtless be humiliated when people see their special blue card.
Granted, there are a lot of low-income folks who don't fit the above description for whom the card will be a tangible benefit (although there are far too many who do fit the above description). But the underlying premise for income-based transit pricing seems to be that we don't sufficiently subsidize transit already.
The reality of public transportation in America is that almost all of it is heavily subsidized by government, no matter how rich or poor the riders are.
It's not actually "heavily subsidized by government", because government generates no income. But this story comes from The New York Times, so their failure to realize that transit subsidies come from those of us who pay taxes is understandable.