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NYC Children Face Paying to Ride to School

The cash-strapped agency that runs New York City subways and buses is considering a proposal to end the more than 60-year-old practice of giving free rides for schoolchildren, a move that could cost half a million students nearly $1,000 per year in transportation fees.

The proposal before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board to end free rides for schoolchildren has parents wondering how to get their children to school.

"This is a crisis," said Kevin McCall, a neighborhood activist who led a protest against the proposal in front of a Brooklyn high school on Tuesday. "This is totally insane. It would make parents have to choose between food and any other necessity or a Metrocard for their child."

Adam Ufret, a concierge at a Manhattan apartment building whose three daughters use student passes, said, "I would cut my home phone and just use my cell phone, or instead of steak we'd have corned beef."

The MTA board, facing a $383 million budget shortfall, will vote Wednesday on a proposed 2010 budget that would eliminate several bus and subway lines and scale back services for the disabled, as well as phasing out student Metrocards.
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