That plastic green card stored in the pocket of your pants is the gateway to Hillcrest for many students. MetroCards may be a disregarded factor to some students and parents but the truth is that MetroCards are a lifesaver for many students. For numerous students in Hillcrest, MetroCards are their main benefactor in school because of the economic support it provides for their families. These plastic green cards are also academic supporters fueling students with a motive to engage in school activities.
As a new school year begins, student MetroCards are distributed throughout New York City public schools. The distribution of MetroCards depends on the student’s grade level and the distance between the school and their home. High school students living within a 1.5 mile range from school are entitled to a full fare MetroCard holding a value of $2.75. Full fare Metrocards provide students with 3 rides including transfer where applicable. Such MetroCards are accepted on MTA trains and buses, except express buses. 9th-12th graders living within 1-1.4 mile range from school are eligible for half-fare MetroCards. Half-fare MetroCards hold a value of $1.35 making studcscccents complete the other half of the fare. These MetroCards limit students to only 3 bus rides and transfer for only buses, not including subway rides. Although the system may have flaws for not providing transfers to most Manhattan buses, it does not take away from the financial help it gives students.
Nonetheless, MetroCards provide students with a sense of security. A current junior in Hillcrest High School, Janee Baker, reveals the comfort she feels by stating, “with [her] MetroCard, I don’t have to pay for a new card every day so I don't have to worry.” This statement may be true for many families. Although $ 2.75 may seem insignificant to some, it accumulates over the course of a year, especially if you receive a student metrocard for all four years throughout high school. By the end of the school year, a total of $495 would be spent on just one ride to school. The idea of paying $2.75 for each ride can create barriers for students wishing to be involved in extracurricular activities outside of school.
Many Hillcrest students engage in after school activities such as sports, clubs, or college now classes. For example students in sports team sometimes have to travel to a certain destination to attend practice or interscholastic competitions, sometimes causing them to use up all the fares on their regular MetroCards. However, the DOE Office of Pupil Transportation have developed a solution for situations like these. Special Program MetroCards are given to students on days they must attend their program; these MetroCards can be provided upon request to your guidance counselor. Hillcrest student, Casandra Castaneda express the relief the Special Program MetroCards gives her, “ I know that I am offered the opportunity to attend Saturday school and practice, I don't have to worry for the fares because they also give me a MetroCard with more than one ride and a good amount of time.” Although a MetroCard might seem like a simple card, it holds more than just monetary value, it creates an opportunity for students to engage in school activities.
Student MetroCards have drawn a picture of hope for Hillcrest students. The relief of spending $2.75 daily, depending on how many fares you need, gives off a feeling of accomplishment. MetroCards practically allow students to receive an education and to be involved in extracurricular activities by making it possible for them to transport themselves with the use of a plastic green metrocard.