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Opinion

University students should get a reduced fare MetroCard

An MTA rider uses a MetroCard to ride

An MTA rider uses a MetroCard to ride NYC transit. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Every weekday, my schedule goes like this: Wake up, eat breakfast, swipe my MetroCard, get the 6 train uptown, take the Bx12 bus to Fordham University. Then do the process in reverse to get back home.

This seems easy enough -- something repeated daily without thought. Except that it's not as easy -- or as inexpensive -- as it may seem.

I'm reminded of that every time I swipe my MetroCard and the dreaded words "insufficient funds" flash in green letters.

As a university student in NYC, my movement depends on public transportation. But rising fares make it harder to go out, and that forces me to second-guess decisions about enjoying NYC.

When I started attending Fordham in 2012, a ride cost $2.25. The next year, the MTA hiked fares to $2.50 and it imposed a $1 fee for new cards. Last month, the MTA increased each ride by another 25 cents.

This may not seem like a lot to some. But the quarters add up over time: $2.50 extra a week becomes $40 or so a semester, and so on.

The cumulative impact of the fare increases may even drive some students -- particularly those working two part-time jobs to pay for school -- to have to choose between transportation to class and a textbook.

I don't even want to think about the fare hike in 2017.

So why are college students punished -- more than they are with the insane price of education? A bill introduced in the City Council calls for free MetroCards for CUNY students, but why shouldn't there be a special mass transit fare for all students who commute to college?

Some NYC public school students receive reduced-fare MetroCards. These pupils don't have a yellow bus service and live a certain distance from their schools. Students with these cards can only use them during certain hours. Unfortunately, college students aren't eligible for those MetroCards.

But why shouldn't we be?

The Fordham University website boasts that "New York is our campus . . ." and The Borough of Manhattan Community College website proudly states: "Start Here. Go Anywhere."

But how are students supposed to enjoy "their campus" or "go anywhere" if the MTA makes that less and less possible?

Linette Muñoz is a junior at Fordham University majoring in psychology.

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