Dear Massachusetts Department of Transportation,
85 cents might not sound like a lot, but it is for a BPS student. I have to take the bus or train to get to school every morning and to return home every afternoon. Some, but not all, students are given an M7, which is a seven day free bus pass given to students who live two miles away from the school. Those who don’t fit that requirement are given an S-Card, or student pass. Although the S-Card discounts the MBTA fair for students, it still isn’t enough.
I have an S-Card. I understand how irritating it can be to have to scrape up change each morning. People think, “Oh, 85 cents shouldn’t be a problem,” but in some cases it is. A lot of students don’t have jobs and many people have to take more than one bus to school. If a student takes more than three or maybe more buses to get to school each day, the eighty-five cents adds up. It could add up to three dollars easily, depending on the student and their route. If a student takes three buses during their daily commute, they can pay a total of $51 per month. Students can definitely benefit from having an M7 pass or just being allowed to use the T for free. BPS shouldn’t be able to decide whether a student is capable of paying for the bus based on the distance and grade level of students.
I feel that all BPS high school students should be given a M7 pass, regardless of where they live. As if it’s not bad enough that students are being asked to pay, the fares increse almost every year. Giving students an M7 is not only beneficial to the students, but to their parents as well. Parents shouldn’t have to be hassled by trying to get their child to school when they need to get themselves to their jobs. Then, a lot of parents don’t own vehicles. If a parent can’t give their child enough money to get to school, what are they supposed to do? Jeopardize their education by staying home? Miss a couple classes because they got to school too late? If you wouldn’t want that issue for your child, why make it an issue for the thousands of children in BPS. Please keep that in mind the next time fare prices are raised.
Shara is funny, enthusiastic and influential. She strongly believes in karma and that everything has a consequence. One thing people don’t know about her is that she wants to major in graphic design.
— Shara Harris, Age 17, 85 Cents Might Not Sound Like A Lot
Forty students from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science and the Jeremiah E. Burke High School have engaged in a creative publishing project in response to the MassDOT’s Focus40 initiative to position the MBTA to meet the needs of the Greater Boston Region in 2040. Students express their dreams for a equitable and forward-thinking future of transportation.