Provide all New York City Public School Students with a full fare Metro Card
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Students attending New York City public schools receive student Metro Cards depending on the distance they live from school, as well as their grade level. The MTA provides either half-fare or full-fare Metro Cards covering three rides a day. Students living less than half a mile from their school will not receive any Metro Card. Children across the Five Boroughs rely on New York City's network of subways and buses as their mode of transportation. As a student, no matter the distance you live from school, you should never have to pay for transportation. The MTA takes pride in calling themselves "the yellow school bus" for New York City students. However, most students living in the suburbs do not have to pay for their yellow school bus.
If you are in 7th-12th grade and reside more than half a mile from your school, but less than 1.5 miles, you will be provided with a half-fare Metro Card. These Metro Cards are only valid on MTA buses and require pupils to pay the other half of the fare in cash on the bus. However, buses do not accept bills, forcing students to travel with coins in order to pay the bus fare. If a student takes three rides a day and is restricted to a half-fare Metro Card, they will need to carry more than $4 in coins in order to pay their bus fare. The Office of Pupil Transportation states that half-fare MetroCards are distributed to students who “live close enough to school to walk” yet, a student living nearly 1.5 miles from their school is only given a half-fare MetroCard. Without consideration for any extracurricular activities, the student may take part in, this would imply that the student is expected to walk nearly three miles each day in all types of weather to simply go to school. Providing students with safe transportation gratis must become a priority for transportation and education officials.
Students who live next door to their school must be provided with full fare Metro Cards as well. As part of being a student, you are expected to take part in extracurricular activities. It is wrong to expect pupils to pay for their own transportation to and from these activities. Student-athletes, in particular, are forced to pay out of their own pocket for transportation to games and practices. Transportation to and from extracurricular activities is incredibly important and must be accounted for. New York City is an incredible place that provides an endless amount of opportunities for students. The entire city needs to become accessible to students, free of charge, regardless of how close they live to their school.
Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña have pledged to support New York City students. Students must be supported not only with dedicated teachers and a safe, clean school building but with safe transportation to school and extracurricular activities free of charge as well. The commute made traveling to school and other activities is a very predominant part of each student's school life that is often forgotten about. No child should ever have to walk long distances to travel to school. Additionally, students and their families should be freed from the burden created by the cost of transportation traveling to and from school or extracurricular activities. We must call upon the State, City, and MTA to support New York City public school students and provide full fare Metro Cards to all students, no matter your grade level, or the distance you live from school.
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