June 18, 2010

Silver, Assembly Save Student Metrocards
Budget Legislation Also Includes Creation of Bus Lane Camera Program to Help Ensure More Efficient Mass Transit

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. today announced the passage of budget legislation preserving the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) student MetroCards (A.9705-D).

Over 500,000 New York City students are provided with free and reduced prices for public transportation under the MTA Schoolfare Program.

"My Assembly colleagues and I fought hard to preserve student MetroCards, because we believe that students simply shouldn't have to pay to get to school every day," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Many cash-strapped families do not have any room in their already-tight budgets to provide children with daily transit fare."

"Many children depend on city transit to get them to school, and the MTA Schoolfare Program offers them an affordable way to do so," said Farrell (D-Manhattan). "We cannot lose sight of the needs of our most vulnerable citizens during these tough times."

Legislation passed by the Assembly today would also create a pilot bus lane camera program on Bus Rapid Transit routes (A.9709-C).

Installing cameras in Bus Rapid Transit lanes will make it easier to enforce the rules against drivers who illegally use the lanes and slow down buses. It will reduce congestion along these routes, making bus travel faster and more reliable.

"Bus rapid transit will mean faster commutes, reduced congestion and cleaner air for millions of New Yorkers," noted Silver.