New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to revamp the subway system into a “Pay by the Pound” pricing structure meant to motivate New Yorkers to lose weight. This is not the first health conscious change Mayor Bloomberg has recommended. This past May, he proposed a measure that “would impose a 16 ounce limit on any sugary drinks … that contain more that 25 calories per 8 ounce”. While opponents have been occupied trying to save their Big Gulps, Bloomberg quietly snuck in another measure. Bloomberg’s “No Chub in the Sub” program will require the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install scales at token dispensers. Different colored tokens will be dispersed depending on a rider’s weight. What used to be a $2.50 fare will now run a 220-pound person $10. For someone who reaches the 300-pound mark, the cost of the fare would rise exponentially to $28.
Mayor Bloomberg discussed the controversial measure at a press conference outside of the New York Athletic Club:
“The No Chub in the Sub measure is an innovative way to solve multiple problems facing the city of New York. First, everyone knows that the subway trains run on electricity. The more weight it carries, the higher the electric bill. Those costs are passed on to the riders and the taxpayers. Why should a healthy person have to pay more for his or her token because someone else chooses to be unhealthy? Anyone under 200 pounds will still pay $2.50, while those under 120 pounds will only have to pay $1. This plan cultivates an environment of fairness. Secondly, the new weight-based tiered program will reward the healthy and provide incentive to the chubbies to change their ways. Certainly some overweight people may not be able to pay the higher cost, but now they’ll get to walk more. In a few months, the pounds will come off and the fares will come down. In my book, that’s a win, win proposal!”
Many New Yorkers however, do not feel like they are winning. According to supermodel Sophia Lobelia, “The measure, it does not go far enough. I am only 82 pounds. I should not have to pay as much as those 120-pound heffers. I do not like this measure.” Conversely, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has called the measure “discriminatory and mean-spirited” and pointed out that, “Many perfectly healthy people come in all shapes and sizes. Mayor Bloomberg should not be forcing his narrow views of what is an acceptable weight on everyone”. Still, with most New Yorkers focusing on the ban of large sugary drinks, few have even noticed, yet alone protested the “No Chub in the Sub” proposal.
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photograph from: Inept Owl