Councilman David G. Greenfield is demanding that the MTA honor all MetroCards being used by parents escorting children to school as a result of the school bus strike expected to begin this morning.
Councilman Greenfield was just made aware by school administrators that it will take between 24 and 48 hours for parents’ cards to be activated, meaning that parents will not be able to ride city buses with their young or special education children tomorrow on the first day of the strike. Moreover, Councilman Greenfield has learned that MetroCards will be deactivated if a parent attempts to use it to board a bus before Thursday, meaning parents in areas without subway service who rely on bus service cannot use public transit to drop off or pick up their children at all on Wednesday.
In response, Councilman Greenfield is demanding that the MTA do the right thing and allow any parents who are escorting their children to school tomorrow morning to ride alongside their children without paying fare out of their own pockets. This will not cost the MTA any additional expense since the city Department of Education has already purchased MetroCards for parents’ use during the strike, but the MTA won’t be able to activate them until as late as Thursday.
“I was shocked to learn this morning that parents who need to escort their young or special education children to school tomorrow will have to pay out of pocket because the MetroCards they will be given will not work. This will likely lead to chaos during the morning commute as tens of thousands of parents attempt to escort their children to school. The MTA needs to do the right thing and allow any parent escorting a child to board all buses so they are not forced to pay out of their own pocket as a result of the school bus driver strike,” said Councilman Greenfield.
Councilman Greenfield is calling on the MTA and DOE to ensure that MetroCards will be available to parents and activated in time for the expected work stoppage on Wednesday morning. If this is not possible, Councilman Greenfield is demanding that the MTA allow parents to ride with their young or special education children for free until the MetroCards are activated.