Today’s news:

Teachers, students at Cambria Hts. school protest MTA MetroCard cuts

On Dec. 12, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority executive board voted on its 2010 budget. In the budget was the elimination of student MetroCards starting in September with the half-fare MetroCard and the following September with the full-fare card.

These cuts were made to close the MTA’s deficit of over $300 million. The scaling back of the state’s portion of the bill from $46 million to $6 million was also a cause for the cuts. When students and teachers in three of the Campus Magnet Complex schools heard the news, outrage followed.

One Law and Government High School teacher, Ms. Driscoll, said, “It’s ridiculous! The MTA has made the cuts in the wrong places. They should leave the kids alone.”

Another teacher, in the Humanities and the Arts High School, said, “It is a real shame to do this to the students in this city.”

Students in the Campus Magnet Complex shared the same sentiment. From freshmen to seniors, everyone is saying: “Do not take away our MetroCards.”

Tyquana Girard, a Law and Government HS senior, told the school newspaper, “Why would they take our transportation away? It’s almost certain that less people will attend now that they are getting rid of MetroCards.”

Jhaleel Oswald, a Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship HS junior said, “It is wrong because certain kids don’t have the financial means to pay for the bus every day. This has to be the single-most stupid thing the MTA could have done.”

Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship HS sophomore Dontay Pugh said, “I don’t like it at all. I have to ask my mother every day for money for food and now this! I’ll have to choose between eating and walking home or starving till I get home and take the bus.”

Leasa Silvera, a freshman in the Humanities and the Arts HS, gave the school newspaper a piece of her mind: “I am totally against it. How are we supposed to get to school now? Some people can’t afford to pay for the bus and train sometimes four to five times a day for five days. Their parents may have low income and can’t afford that, so now they have to choose between sending their child to school or paying the bills and putting food on the table.”

The MTA has not scheduled any public hearing for these service cuts, changes and eliminations, but something scheduled is expected.

Wesley Jacobs

Student

Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School

Cambria Heights

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