MTA proposes expanding full-fare MetroCard program for K-12 students

An MTA proposal would give full-fare MetroCards to students with half-fare MetroCards.  Eagle  photo by Jonathan Sperling.

An MTA proposal would give full-fare MetroCards to students with half-fare MetroCards. Eagle photo by Jonathan Sperling.

By Jonathan Sperling

No more digging for quarters and dimes.

The MTA Board is expected to vote on a proposal Wednesday that would give full-fare MetroCards to students who currently have half-fare MetroCards.

MTA officials described the half-fare MetroCard program as “cumbersome” when they announced its potential elimination on Monday. As it currently stands, students with half-fare MetroCards are required to pay $1.35 in coins for each ride with their half-fare card, which can increase bus boarding time.

“This is a common-sense policy that makes it easier for kids to get to school and does away with needless complexities that have existed for too long,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford in a statement. “Replacing half-fare cards with full-fare ones saves money for students and saves time for everyone on a bus since the need for coins is eliminated.”

Half-fare student MetroCards make up a relatively small subset of MetroCards that are given to city K-12 students who live at least a half mile from their school. Approximately 27,000 bus trips are made using the half-fare cards each day, according to the MTA.

If the proposed resolution passes, half-fare MetroCard recipients would receive the same full-fare MetroCards that hundreds of thousands of other students currently get. The full-fare cards allow for three trips between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. and can be used on both subways and buses.

The proposal is expected to cost the MTA approximately $200,000.