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Op-Ed: NYC Should Fund Community College Metro Cards

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2018

Op-Ed: NYC Should Fund Community College Metro Cards

While the City Council's Fair Fares Plan would undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost to tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are barely scraping by, it remains in legislative limbo. As a practical alternative, New York can start by making MetroCards free for the city’s community college students.

by Tom Hilliard

Tags: community colleges economic opportunity transportation

CUNY’s community colleges serve as the city’s most reliable springboards to the middle class. However, for many community college students, non-tuition expenses, including food, housing, and transit, are among the biggest factors that cause students to drop out. There’s a lot that could be done to help more students stay in school, but few things would be as valuable as offering free MetroCards. 

In this City Limits op-ed, CUF Senior Fellow for Economic Opportunity Tom Hilliard suggests a compromise to the City Council's proposal for half-price MetroCards for poor families that is more affordable and very much aligns with the city’s goal of reducing inequality: Make MetroCards free for the city’s community college students.

Read the op-ed here.

This op-ed is a continuation of the Center for an Urban Future's extensive research on higher education and economic mobility in New York, including the recent study Degrees of Difficulty: Boosting College Success in New York City.

Photo Credit: Kirk Morales/Unsplash