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H.S. students walkout & rally over free MetroCards; @ City Hall


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Hundreds of city students could walk out of class today to protest the proposed elimination of their student MetroCards.

 

Organizers are hoping students from 23 high schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens walk out of class at noon in protest of the planned cut.

 

The Urban Youth Collaborative says the walkouts will be followed by a 1 p.m. rally at City Hall Park, a march across the Brooklyn Bridge, and another rally at the Transit Building on Jay Street.

 

Students at non-participating schools also indicated that they will join their peers at the walkout.

 

"You cut MetroCards and no one's going to come to school," said one student.

 

"A lot of people are angry because we need these MetroCards so we can get back and forth to school," said another. "A lot of us don't live around here and this school helps us a lot because we don't have good schools around us."

 

Education officials are urging students to remain in school during regular hours.

 

Many students have finals scheduled for today and those students say it's just not worth it for them to cut class.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed cutting the free MetroCards as part of its effort to close an $800 million budget gap.

 

The city, state, and MTA have shared the cost of the program, but the state has not been able to offer funding thus far.

 

The mayor's office has said the city still has its share of the funding in place.

 

The protest comes a day after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a program to combat truancy among students.

 

 

From NY1: http://bronx.ny1.com/content/top_stories/120210/student-walkout-planned-over-metrocard-elimination

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I think the (MTA) and NY state leaders are wrong in totally trying to can student metrocards. Does NYC have tens of millions to buy school buses instead if they want to end student Metrocards?

 

At same time looking at this economic crisis, I only agree that only a smaller % of kids should get them and some form of reforms is needed. These 'free cards' costs the (MTA) Millions yearly. Ditto also for reforms to Acess a Ride which is an another topic altogether. I know some members may disagree but reforms to Free Metrocards for kids is not made expect even more doomsday cuts/fare hikes very soon.

 

In a compromise as i stated before i do think similar to school lunch programs/fianicial aid programs in colleges, that a sliding scale should be created on who gets 'free' or '1/2 fare' M/C's. Those in poverty/very poorshould gets the free ones and then based on family incomes (using the federal program on which students gets 'free lunches' or reduced prices meals)should determine who gets them.

 

Personally i don't think a student coming from a family making $75,000 a year or more should get them.

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If only they put this much effort into their classes.

 

You can tell they don't since they are going to the MTA building at Jay St which is pretty much vacant so their "protest" would be useless. So much for doing research.

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And they probably got their on their free cards. Bunch of ingrates. They don't deserve the free cards. Plus do they know it's the city and state that shortchanged them than the MTA?

 

Hell when it comes down to what the MTA has to cut, I hope it is the free cards than services the rest of us has to pay for. Why should the paying public have to suffer so the kids can ride for free?

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I think the (MTA) and NY state leaders are wrong in totally trying to can student metrocards. Does NYC have tens of millions to buy school buses instead if they want to end student Metrocards?

 

At same time looking at this economic crisis, I only agree that only a smaller % of kids should get them and some form of reforms is needed. These 'free cards' costs the (MTA) Millions yearly. Ditto also for reforms to Acess a Ride which is an another topic altogether. I know some members may disagree but reforms to Free Metrocards for kids is not made expect even more doomsday cuts/fare hikes very soon.

 

In a compromise as i stated before i do think similar to school lunch programs/fianicial aid programs in colleges, that a sliding scale should be created on who gets 'free' or '1/2 fare' M/C's. Those in poverty/very poor should gets the free ones and then based on family incomes (using the federal program on which students gets 'free lunches' or reduced prices meals)should determine who gets them.

 

Personally i don't think a student coming from a family making $75,000 a year or more should get them.

 

The problem with your idea is that many students already receive free lunches, so the bureaucracy of implementing a sliding scale based on income to recieve free/discounted MetroCards would reduce the savings (But I guess the information is already available when the students submit their lunch forms).

The thing that makes me disagree with implementing this is that students in Long Island get to ride the school buses for free, regardless of their income. It would be a lot cheaper for the school district to give them Student MetroCards (or transit passes or whatever they call them out in LI) then to send them on a school bus.

Also, you could argue that free lunch is really unrelated to school-many of those children wouldn't receive meals at home if they weren't served meals in school (True, studies prove that students learn better after they have eaten, but the primary reason is to give the children nutrition) Transportation to/from school is more directly related to school itself, since you can't take the classes if you can't get to the school. A free education is a right, regardless of income, so everything associated with it should be free.

 

If only they put this much effort into their classes.

 

The thing is that many of the students who travel these long distances to school tend to be the ones most interested in learning. I'm sure over 95% of the students in specialized high schools (like Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Tech, etc) receive these MetroCards, and they shouldn't be punished financially for trying to receive an education. I'm sure there are children that travel across the city just to waste their time in school, but I'm sure most of them are interested in learning, or else many of them wouldn't spend an hour to an hour and a half in both directions going to and from school.

Use one example: Me. I receive a Student MetroCard and have close to 100 average (with the honors and AP subjects being weighted). I passed the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and could've gone to any specialized high school I wanted, I didn't go to the walkout, but I attended the public hearing and plan to attend the board meeting on June 23rd. I study hard and fight hard for what I deserve.

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And they probably got their on their free cards. Bunch of ingrates. They don't deserve the free cards. Plus do they know it's the city and state that shortchanged them than the MTA?

 

Hell when it comes down to what the MTA has to cut, I hope it is the free cards than services the rest of us has to pay for. Why should the paying public have to suffer so the kids can ride for free?

 

Well, there was some kid on my class that wanted everyone to go to the protest and cut class. But I betcha he doesn't know the state is cutting the funds.

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Sounds like the rest of the uniformed lot. It's sad how these kids all buys into the propoganda that the MTA is the ultimate evil of everything. I mean there's so much they can do when the state cuts funding and the city+state forces the MTA to pick up the slack for the kids. It's a lose lose situation.

=

The thing is that many of the students who travel these long distances to school tend to be the ones most interested in learning. I'm sure over 95% of the students in specialized high schools (like Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Tech, etc) receive these MetroCards, and they shouldn't be punished financially for trying to receive an education. I'm sure there are children that travel across the city just to waste their time in school, but I'm sure most of them are interested in learning, or else many of them wouldn't spend an hour to an hour and a half in both directions going to and from school.

Use one example: Me. I receive a Student MetroCard and have close to 100 average (with the honors and AP subjects being weighted). I passed the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and could've gone to any specialized high school I wanted, I didn't go to the walkout, but I attended the public hearing and plan to attend the board meeting on June 23rd. I study hard and fight hard for what I deserve.

I would have no problems if students were to get free cards due to incentives like getting good grades or such.

 

But let's get back to the real issue: the state and city needs to chip in their fair share than to shift the burden on the already broke MTA [that the state cut fundings to].

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You can tell they don't since they are going to the MTA building at Jay St which is pretty much vacant so their "protest" would be useless. So much for doing research.

 

Yup thank you for pointing that out. Was just about to add that to this thread but you beat me to it. Truly an exercise in futility if they can't even protest in the right spot. These are the "great minds of the future".

 

Yeah. We are doomed.

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And they probably got their on their free cards. Bunch of ingrates. They don't deserve the free cards. Plus do they know it's the city and state that shortchanged them than the MTA? Hell when it comes down to what the MTA has to cut, I hope it is the free cards than services the rest of us has to pay for. Why should the paying public have to suffer so the kids can ride for free?

 

So: I work very hard

to get good grades, try to get to school on time despite having to travel 16 miles (in one direction) to school, deal with other BS, and don't deserve a helping hand (in terms of free transportation)? Not all of these kids are bad (Remember- in every sack of wheat, there are always a few bad grains). Paying to get to school would be unaffordable in my case. And before you tell me to get a part-time job in McDonald's or something, keep in mind that that is easier said than done. If the cards are cut, my family would have to move out of this city.

Use one example: Me. I receive a Student MetroCard and have close to 100 average (with the honors and AP subjects being weighted). I passed the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and could've gone to any specialized high school I wanted, I didn't go to the walkout, but I attended the public hearing and plan to attend the board meeting on June 23rd. I study hard and fight hard for what I deserve.

 

Same here. Some can afford to get screwed over, whereas people like you & me cannot.

These are the "great minds of the future".

Yeah. We are doomed.

 

Don't worry. I'll be your saviour.;)

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The city is not completely the innocent victim here- because of huge overcrowding and crappy facilities, the city assigns a huge number of kids to schools that are ridiculously far away, which requires them to take lots of public transportation- bad for the student, expensive for the city and state.

If there were enough schools built, more kids would be in walking distance, or at least would use the free metrocard less often, thus lowering the price of the free card program.

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The city is not completely the innocent victim here- because of huge overcrowding and crappy facilities, the city assigns a huge number of kids to schools that are ridiculously far away, which requires them to take lots of public transportation- bad for the student, expensive for the city and state.

If there were enough schools built, more kids would be in walking distance, or at least would use the free metrocard less often, thus lowering the price of the free card program.

 

I haven't heard of someone being assigned to anywhere else but their zoned school. It's the students who choose to travel to a school not in their area due to issues and concerns with their zoned school. If most other public high schools could be like the ones with 70% and up graduation rates such as Francis Lewis High School (which is crowded into oblivion) then there'd be less traveling. Only the kids who actually live a good distance from their zoned school should require the use of the student MetroCards.

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And they probably got their on their free cards. Bunch of ingrates. They don't deserve the free cards. Plus do they know it's the city and state that shortchanged them than the MTA?

 

Hell when it comes down to what the MTA has to cut, I hope it is the free cards than services the rest of us has to pay for. Why should the paying public have to suffer so the kids can ride for free?

 

Kids don't have jobs to fund their own transport. And alot of their parents are strapped with tons of other expenses; food, shelter, etc.

 

Remember, you were young once.

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The city is not completely the innocent victim here- because of huge overcrowding and crappy facilities, the city assigns a huge number of kids to schools that are ridiculously far away, which requires them to take lots of public transportation- bad for the student, expensive for the city and state.

If there were enough schools built, more kids would be in walking distance, or at least would use the free metrocard less often, thus lowering the price of the free card program.

 

I haven't heard of someone being assigned to anywhere else but their zoned school. It's the students who choose to travel to a school not in their area due to issues and concerns with their zoned school. If most other public high schools could be like the ones with 70% and up graduation rates such as Francis Lewis High School (which is crowded into oblivion) then there'd be less traveling. Only the kids who actually live a good distance from their zoned school should require the use of the student MetroCards.

 

I have a little sister in the six grade I'm trying to get out of out my neighborhood. I think she, as well as, all children deserve to recieve excellent education that will help them into college and/or better career, and not retail/service jobs or welfare. They also should be in a culturally diverse environment and not segregated culturally/racially because they are stuck in their own neighborhood. What irratates me the most is when I see schools soo segregated that one such school is 90% black and the other 90% white. And often one school may receive excellent education while the other treat the students like crap. Why should it be like that?!

 

The cut of the metrocards may just make people more culturally/racially segregated than they already are.. Also some neighborhoods would just be less educated.

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I haven't heard of someone being assigned to anywhere else but their zoned school. It's the students who choose to travel to a school not in their area due to issues and concerns with their zoned school. If most other public high schools could be like the ones with 70% and up graduation rates such as Francis Lewis High School (which is crowded into oblivion) then there'd be less traveling. Only the kids who actually live a good distance from their zoned school should require the use of the student MetroCards.

 

Some of the zones for the schools are extremely large. For example, I.S.72 in Staten Island takes students from south of Victory Boulevard and Staten Island Expressway, but also takes students from northwestern Mariners' Harbor/Arlington. I don't think it is reasonable to expect anybody from Mariners' Harbor to walk over 3 miles to get to school in Heartland Village. The same thing with Port Richmond High School-my zoned school which is over 2 miles from home.

And there were a few instances where people were forced to go to schools far away because their zoned school was overcrowded. I think there was a story in the Daily News. There were 2 schools on the Upper West Side and 2 schools in Staten Island that were involved.

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I think one thing the kids protesting fail to realize is that although not everyone will have the income to pay for them to go to school, many of the other transportation systems make kids pay but at a discounted fare, which is what the MTA is trying to do for next year HOWEVER i'm probably 95% positive most of the kids think that the MTA is going to make kids pay $2.25 in September, not $1.10

 

The WMATA has a seperate student farecard for children for example, $26 a month, the MTA Can implement something like that.

 

The TriMet in Portland has about 45% off for children and lastly

 

The VIVA bus in Toronto has student discounts on weekly and monthly passes.

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My question to you is this: Do those cities have yellow school buses?

 

The agency may be offering it as a courtesy. For example, the MTA allows certain children to receive a half fare MetroCard, which is only good on buses and lets them ride for $1.10. Their logic could be that a distance between 1 mile and 1.5 miles is walkable, and if the children walk, the MTA gets nothing, instead of $1.10.

 

I would favor a discounted monthly MetroCard over just having children pay $1.10 every time they ride the local bus subway (again, I'm totally opposed to eliminating this program). The question is: How would it work on the subway? On the bus, the child put the MetroCard in and then puts in $1.10. On the subway, there is no mechanism for doing that.

 

The monthly card would be better (I'm assuming it would still say "Student OK") because it would avoid that problem. It would also place less of a financial burden on the families impacted by this plan.

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Kids don't have jobs to fund their own transport. And alot of their parents are strapped with tons of other expenses; food, shelter, etc.

 

Remember, you were young once.

 

Again, should be the state-city issue [if not mainly the DOE], NOT the MTA's. That's my point.

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So: I work very hard to get good grades, try to get to school on time despite having to travel 16 miles (in one direction) to school, deal with other BS, and don't deserve a helping hand (in terms of free transportation)? Not all of these kids are bad (Remember- in every sack of wheat, there are always a few bad grains). Paying to get to school would be unaffordable in my case. And before you tell me to get a part-time job in McDonald's or something, keep in mind that that is easier said than done. If the cards are cut, my family would have to move out of this city.

 

 

Hey the economy is a mess right now. pick your poison:

- keep the free rides, but service is cut everywhere plus/or fare hikes = less trains/buses for more people and resulting in more delays.

- cut the free rides, and keep service stable and/or fares the same = more people paying into the system and less delays

 

All I'm saying is think of the bottom line. The MTA is NOT a charity, it's already broke and the state slashed fundings. Before the cuts the MTA was kicking in more than its fair share of the costs. How can they be expected to keep the program with little to no help from the state?

 

So to everyone here: direct your anger at Albany 1st before the MTA.

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My question to you is this: Do those cities have yellow school buses?

 

The agency may be offering it as a courtesy. For example, the MTA allows certain children to receive a half fare MetroCard, which is only good on buses and lets them ride for $1.10. Their logic could be that a distance between 1 mile and 1.5 miles is walkable, and if the children walk, the MTA gets nothing, instead of $1.10.

 

I would favor a discounted monthly MetroCard over just having children pay $1.10 every time they ride the local bus subway (again, I'm totally opposed to eliminating this program). The question is: How would it work on the subway? On the bus, the child put the MetroCard in and then puts in $1.10. On the subway, there is no mechanism for doing that.

 

The monthly card would be better (I'm assuming it would still say "Student OK") because it would avoid that problem. It would also place less of a financial burden on the families impacted by this plan.

 

If the MTA was smarter, they would have kids do what the WMATA has done, give them a special fare card, which should be able to work on buses & trains, and make them pay a monthly fee, it doesn't have to be alot, just enough to make sure a little revenue is coming in. $30 a month, X 10 = $300 per person year round (10 months in a school year) . Wikipedia states over 1.1 million kids in the city attend NYC schools so...

300 * 1,100,000 = $330,000,000 coming into the MTA a Year alone from student fares.

 

Im not sure as to how much funding cost for the student program

 

I know in Westchester County, the student Metrocard is $50 a month and MOST family's manage to pay so $30 won't kill everyone.

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If the MTA was smarter, they would have kids do what the WMATA has done, give them a special fare card, which should be able to work on buses & trains, and make them pay a monthly fee, it doesn't have to be alot, just enough to make sure a little revenue is coming in. $30 a month, X 10 = $300 per person year round (10 months in a school year) . Wikipedia states over 1.1 million kids in the city attend NYC schools so...

300 * 1,100,000 = $330,000,000 coming into the MTA a Year alone from student fares.

 

Im not sure as to how much funding cost for the student program

 

I know in Westchester County, the student Metrocard is $50 a month and MOST family's manage to pay so $30 won't kill everyone.

 

The problem is that $300 is still a pretty large expense. I calculated that it would cost $700 per year if it were to be raised to full-fare.

 

About 584,000 students receive Student MetroCards. That 330 million would be cut in half, because there are half the number of students involved. That would be about 165 million. Once again, which was the point I made to the MTA, that is if every student pays. $300 means that half the students that would've avoided paying the fare, one way or another would still avoid the fare, compared to $700 per year.

 

The MTA says it loses $214 million in fares from the Student MetroCard program (Again, assuming every student would've paid). The city and state cover $70 million, leaving the MTA to cover the other $144 million.

 

 

All I'm saying is think of the bottom line. The MTA is NOT a charity, it's already broke and the state slashed fundings. Before the cuts the MTA was kicking in more than its fair share of the costs. How can they be expected to keep the program with little to no help from the state?

 

So to everyone here: direct your anger at Albany 1st before the MTA.

 

The MTA isn't a charity, it is a public agency, whose goal should be to serve the people of the city. One way in which it would do so would be by maintaining the Student MetroCard program (we're not talking about the students themselves now, we're talking about the problems that would plague the city if the Student MetroCard program were eliminated).

I agree that the state should be pitching in more money, but they have their own budget problems. The city still has to keep on running, even though the state plans to cut back on how much it gives to NYC. The city has to make do with less, just like the MTA.

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