March for Student MetrocardsBeyond Tech, Videos — By BTHSnews on June 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm
BY ALFRED NG & ANDY MAI
VIDEO BY ALFRED NG
EDITING BY ALFRED NG
Whether you know it, time is running out on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) decision on New York City Student Metrocards. Later this month, the MTA will vote on whether or not to continue the Student Metrocard program. The decision is for students getting free public transportation now to have to pay half fare next school year and full fair the following year. A decision heavily criticized by parents, students, teachers, transit workers and MTA employees.
The New York City Student Union, on June 11th, organized a March for Student Metrocards across the Brooklyn Bridge. The March was led by Brooklyn Technical’s own Lucas Johnson and Henry Pines who spoke with BTHSnews.org about the effects of losing student Metrocards. Johnson did the math and predicted a expense of over a $1000 a year for each child to get to school. Pines criticized the MTA’s wasteful spending by stating only three years ago the MTA had a billion dollar budget surplus and today they are in the hole.
To show that students care, back in March, the NYC Student Union collected expired student Metrocards from students all over New York City with messages on the back of them explaining how the cuts would effect them. At a March public hearing, the NYC Student Union presented the student Metrocards to MTA officials pleading the students point of view. On June 11th, they used 3000 expired student Metrocards and strung them up on a line to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
Both Johnson and Pines stressed the right to an education and taking away student Metrocards would be taking away that right. The march also landed on the same day as an organized student walkout for student Metrocards. Students left school early to protest student Metrocards at City Hall. The MTA is expected to make their decision on student Metrocards in late June before summer vacation.