In an unbelievable display of chutzpah — okay, not really — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman "Denny" Farrell issued a self-congratulatory press release last Friday taking credit for "saving" student MetroCards. Here’s an excerpt:
"My Assembly colleagues and I fought hard to preserve student MetroCards, because we believe that students simply shouldn’t have to pay to get to school every day," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "Many cash-strapped families do not have any room in their already-tight budgets to provide children with daily transit fare."
"Many children depend on city transit to get them to school, and the MTA Schoolfare Program offers them an affordable way to do so," said Farrell (D-Manhattan). "We cannot lose sight of the needs of our most vulnerable citizens during these tough times."
Of course the vulnerable and cash-strapped, with or without children, will end up paying for this deal one way or another, since Silver and Farrell did nothing but further compromise the MTA’s own already-tight budget to cover Albany’s student fare tab. To these guys, victory is making other transit riders eat the cost of student fares while they heap praise upon themselves for coming to the aid of poor kids and families.