The Metro Transit Authority (MTA) board will consider a package of service cuts today that would close a gap in next year's budget.
The $350 million in cuts call for the elimination of the W and Z subway lines and more than two dozen bus routes. Students would also be required to pay for half the value of their MetroCards beginning next fall.
School parents and elected officials held rallies across the city Tuesday to protest the MTA's plan to eliminate free student MetroCards.
Council member Gale Brewer was at a demonstration on the Upper West Side and said that in addition to burdening parents with the cost of a regular MetroCard, the measure would affect after school activities as well.
"Those MetroCards not only pay to go back and forth to school, but they pay for the tutoring, they pay for the karate, they pay for the soccer. They actually enhance that students' education," Brewer said.
More than half a million students use free or discounted MetroCards. The MTA is proposing phasing them out between next year and 2011.
NOTE SINCE THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED: This article has been updated to include today's upcoming board vote.