Keep Student Metrocards!!

You jump onto a bus and dip your Metro Card in, running to the back to get an available seat. This routine seems so ordinary, so casual, you don’t think twice. Student metro cards have been free or at least half fare for more than 60 years.

But since the MTA’s $383 million budget fall, this generous give away might stop and leave you and your classmates stranded. 417,243 students receive free Metro Cards and another 167,412 get half fare Metro Cards. These are large numbers that will soon be reduced. Cutting back Metro Cards will leave approximately 585,155 students with no way to get to school. Besides narrowing transportation, eliminating student Metro Cards will bring up many more problems.

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Since the transportation is too complicated, many kids won’t even bother to go to school and receive a proper education. But for those who think eliminating Metro Cards is no biggie, think again. Sure, kids could walk, and yes, kids could go on a yellow school bus. However, nearby high schools are no longer around. Schools most commonly applied for are with kids who live in different boroughs or neighborhoods. It takes a long trip sometimes to get to school, and eliminating Metro Cards would make it even more complicated.

Also, on average, Metro Cards will cost $712 on only one child a year. If there are multiple children, the family would have to give an arm and a leg to get their child on a bus t school. That’s not including the bus fare increases during 2011 to 2013. Families with an average income say, “We would have to choose between food and any other necessity or a Metro Card for our children.” If attendance going down and poor families all around doesn’t convince you, then maybe illegal acts will.

If a student’s family just can’t afford it, and the kid wants to go to school, children will jump turnstiles as a desperate act to get to school. Jumping turnstiles is a type of truancy. The cause of this will need more money from the government on truancy and less for school funds. Eliminating Metro Cards might give money to the government but soon enough it will go full circle and money will drop. City buses are an important part of cities and towns.

They are a clean, safe, and quick resort to get where you need to go. Yellow school buses are not only smaller and complicated, but on average a child spend$7,000 on a school bus a year. Even without student Metro Cards, school buses are too expensive compared to city buses. While many young kids use this school bus, many kids who are old enough and able to take a city bus take school buses instead. This wastes a lot of money and cuts back school funds that can go to other school facilities or supply new Metro Cards.

While a heavy amount of 600,000 NYC students take a city bus, only 150,000 take the school bus. As you can see, city buses are more essential for children and teenagers who travel to school. Many families need this discounted or free Metro Card. During our economic crisis no one can afford another $2.25, even for their children. 80% of families whose children go to school qualify for free or reduced lunch.

If food is a necessity, then why not transportation? How would the government expect independent teenagers to take the train or bus when they cannot afford it? Money is tight more than ever, and families are barely getting by. If anything, can the government spare money for kids to get to school and get an education? The government can take teens off the school bus and put them on a city bus. If the parent is not comfortable having their child on a bus, why not let a supervisor from the school watch? The government should put children’s needs in mind, too. Sure, their parents are the ones who choose. They are the people who elect presidents, governors, and mayors.

They are “the voice of the country.” But the kids who go to school are going to become adults in a couple of years and are unlikely to choose the same government representatives if they have ignored their needs as children. All in all, Metro Cards are not just another piece of cardboard, or a useless thing a teen throws in their wallet. Student Metro Cards allow kids to travel to and from school and at least one after school activity. It allows kids to gain responsibility in getting to school. Student Metro Cards are a privilege to young teens and children everywhere.

Just like we need air, we need education, and if we cant get there, we can’t gain it. Metro Cards are useful and needed, and a part of our everyday lives, to take them away would just be foolish. So the next time you swing into the bus and dip your Metro Card, feel proud that you are a student of the United States, but be aware that slowly, you are losing your rights. Things like this are much needed. Do NOT eliminate Student Metro Cards.