If you haven't already done so, please consider signing the petition to Stop the MTA from Penalizing Vulnerable Riders – http://www.petitiononline.com/mtacuts/petition.html. Please spread the word to your networks as well!
We prefer that you sign by clicking the link below, but if you or your organization would like a hard copy, there is one attached to this email. Please see the note below from the Borough President for more information (and check out the NYT article from Thursday too – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/nyregion/17mta.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion).
Join me in telling the MTA Board that it is unacceptable to balance their budget on the backs of those that can least afford it. While the recently announced shortfalls in the projected state payroll taxes should not be surprising given the global recession, what is shocking is the MTA's apparent lack of anticipation of this shortfall and that its chosen method of resolve is essentially a tax on our seniors, students and people with disabilities. In particular, the plan to scrap the free and reduced priced MetroCard program for public school students is extremely shortsighted and ultimately detrimental to New York City's future. All over the city, New York parents have recently lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. This additional MetroCard expenditure, which for three kids could cost up to $50 per week, would further these people's financial hardships.
The free-fare student program accounts for less than 2% of the total MTA budget and the State has not pulled its weight to fund this program as promised. However, eliminating such an important program, which serves over 400,000 public school students, to close a relatively small gap would not be wise. Other counties rely on a yellow school bus to get their children to school. In New York City, the yellow MetroCard is our school bus and we will not stand for its proposed elimination.
Sign this petition to join parents and students all over NYC in telling the MTA that it must take this proposal off the table. The MTA can be more creative in fixing its financial crisis than by bargaining with our children's education.
Finally, read recent coverage of this issue in the New York Times, the Daily News and AM New York, and be sure to check out the Borough President's Blog for details about the press conference.
Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President