Make the Fare Fair: Parents Pushing MTA to Lower Express Bus Rates

Tags: Currents, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, MTA, New York City, Transportation

By Tim Harfmann

New York City express buses are driving some parents crazy, costing them $6.75 each way to send their children to and from school or summer programs.

“$6.75 is lunch money, practically, and it’s unfair,” said Antoinette Rowdis, a concerned parent.

She and her friend, Antonietta Cutrona, are two Brooklyn moms pushing the city to make the fare fair.

The MTA already issues student passes, but the green and white MetroCards only cover subways and local buses, making commutes longer for those living in certain neighborhoods who rely on express buses.

“There are pockets in the boroughs that don’t have clear transportation to, let’s say, the train,” said Cutrona.

For one child, paying the express bus fare adds up to nearly $300 a month — that’s about $2,700 per school year.

Rowdis and Cutrona turned to local politicians, who said they need 1,500 signatures to present the idea of lowering the rate to the MTA board.

So far, they’ve received over 1,000 signatures.

The Rowdis and Cutrona families send their sons from Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to Manhattan’s Xavier High School.

They said although there are Catholic schools located closer to their Brooklyn homes, they want to be able to decide where they send their children.

“Education is very important, and picking the right school is very important. This is foundation for these kids,” said Rowdis.

The MTA has yet to fulfill a request for a statement from Currents News.

The mother duo is urging people to sign their petition by going online at change.org and search their specific title, “Lower MTA Express Bus Fares for High School Students Traveling to and from School.”