MTA May Cut Student MetroCard Funding
December 14, 2009 § 13 Comments
I am one of 550,000 NYC students who currently has a free or discounted MetroCard for bus and subway access.
But this may change in the next few years. Because of budget troubles, the MTA is considering a plan that would force schoolkids to pay half fares next year, and full fares by 2011.
THIS SHIT IS FUCKED UP.
This would be a financial blow to my family, but truthfully, we would have it the easiest by far. We’re privileged; we have money for MetroCards. Many, many families don’t.
If the MTA cuts free student MetroCards, low-income kids will drop out of the “public” school system because they can’t afford the ride. This is not difficult to understand.
“It’s stupid,” said Brittney Rojas, 13, as she walked down Bushwick Ave., in Brooklyn, with her three sisters. “If you live far away it means you can’t afford to go to school.”
“Some kids just won’t go to school,” her sister Chelsea, 12, chimed in. “Or some might have to walk outside in the winter and get sick.”
…”It would be a catastrophe,” said Nateria Cannon, 17, an 11th-grader at Manhattan Village Academy who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “I think it’s crazy. Parents are losing their jobs and the fare went up. They would have to work overtime.”
Kids understand this intuitively. You’d think the city would, too.
I suppose I don’t need to mention the implicit environmental racism that’s also present in this plan: students who live in affluent neighborhoods that have great public schools don’t need a MetroCard to get to class. It’s the underprivileged students, who often live far from good schools (or, because of calculated zoning efforts, live just outside of a district with good schools), who rely on the subsidized rides.