(Updated June 18, 2010)
An agreement has been reached to save free and half-fare student MetroCards, ensuring 585,000 New York City students will be able to get to school by mass transit in the fall. In a statement release late last night the MTA stated "that school children should not have to pay to travel to school, but that funding this transportation is the responsibility of the State and City, as it is throughout the state."
While the Straphangers Campaign agrees with their position, we are happy the MTA acknowledge the "hundreds of thousands of families in New York City who frankly could not afford to pay the added cost of transit fares for school transportation. We heard loud and clear ... that charging students would have a life-changing impact on the ability of New Yorkers to receive a quality education.
In light of these unbearable impacts, the MTA has decided to abandon the proposal to charge students for travel to and from school. As a result, the budget deficit that we are facing will increase, but the alternative is worse. Further actions needed to close this gap will be addressed when our preliminary financial plan is released in July."
Thank you for all of the phone calls, letters, emails and other actions you participated in to help save this program for New York City's school children. The track to closing the MTA's gaping budget deficit will be tough, but we thank the MTA for realizing that their budget cannot be balanced on the backs of students.
Finally, as part of this deal, the MTA got approval to go ahead with two years of key repair projects. As well, the State gave the MTA and City authority to use cameras to enforce five new and faster bus rapid transit lanes called Select Bus Service.
These fact sheets were prepared prior to the MTA's March 24, 2010 vote.
The Facts: The End of Student MetroCards? (pdf)
Points to Make on Student MetroCards at Public Hearings (pdf)
Click here to learn more about the service cuts