Last Thursday, two New York City lawmakers proposed legislation that would be make CUNY students’ lives just a little bit easier.
Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Inez Barron proposed a resolution calling on CUNY to put money in its next budget for free MetroCards. Rodriguez, a City College alum and now chair of the transportation committee, recalled walking from his Inwood apartment to CCNY because he was unable to afford transportation. He and Barron believe this will help keep students on track to graduate.
The city already offers reduced or free MetroCards for its k-12 students, costing $244.3 million a year. Of that, $45 million comes from the city and $25.3 million from the state. CUNY is expecting $32.3 million for its senior colleges and $285.2 million for community colleges from the city.
Pedro Stone, Brooklyn College Alum, says of the matter, “MetroCards are part of our cost of living in the city — I don’t think it’s fair to penalize taxpayers who also have their own MetroCard expenses.”
There are roughly 270,000 full- and part-time students in the CUNY system meaning covering the cost of MetroCards could range anywhere from $30 million to $375 million.
“If we cannot do it for all of our students at CUNY,” Rodriguez said, “at least we can start looking at students at community college.”
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