Three days before low income New Yorkers are supposed to be eligible for half-priced MetroCards, New York City has not released a plan for the Fair Fares program, or engaged in any meaningful outreach to let people know they may be able to take advantage of the initiative.

"Starting next month we're gonna roll this out in a very big way," Mayor Bill de Blasio told Brian Lehrer on Friday morning when asked about his administration's silence on Fair Fares.

"Don't worry, the word will spread quickly, I assure you. When people understand they can get half-priced MetroCards because of their income level, people will hear it, you know—if you build it they will come," the mayor said.

While he declined to delve into specifics, de Blasio promised a "full bore campaign," because the $212 million initiative is "quintessential" to his vision: "My vision is to make this city the fairest big city in America." (The mayor initially opposed the plan.)

As many as 800,000 New Yorkers could benefit from Fair Fares, which will offer half-priced 7-day and 30-day MetroCards to those living at or below the federal poverty level, which represents an annual income of $25,100 for a family of four.

When Seattle's King County began their program to give low income residents discounted transit fares in 2015, riders could check their eligibility and sign up for the initiative a month before it took effect.

Contrast Fair Fares with the de Blasio administration's signature achievement, the $300 million universal pre-K program. The exhaustive and meticulous effort to enroll 53,000 children over the course of five months was so successful, it inspired a Harvard research paper:

Through a partnership with the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Education sent more than 3000 eligible families in public housing both direct mailings and automated calls. Carefully targeted paid media, including ads outdoors, over the radio, inside subway cars, on buses, and in community newspapers, was combined with similarly targeted digital advertising. With the help of Mobile Commons, the outreach team ran a targeted texting campaign. Ads were placed on Pandora. The team did everything it could to target media so that it would reach parents in places with lower enrollment rates....Between June 1 and the first day of school, dozens of outreach workers put in six-day weeks across the five boroughs attending events, talking to families, and ensuring that more than 520,000 New Yorkers heard about UPK via phone calls, emails, or texts. The numbers are impressive: the thirty-five leading outreach workers collectively attended 500 events, spoke to 11,000 eligible families, and delivered 1.2 million texts, emails, and phone calls.

Earlier this month, Fair Fares advocates sent a letter to the de Blasio administration asking for details about the plan. This morning, City Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodridguez again asked the administration about the delays.

A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office declined to comment, and referred us to de Blasio's remarks on Brian Lehrer.