SA Note: SA lobbies Metro board for reduced student fares

Student Association officials and student leaders from across the District gave a letter to Metro administrators last week calling for reduced fares for college students.

The SA presented the letter, signed by 11 student presidents from D.C.-area universities, to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board of directors. It is the latest push by the SA to lower fares for Metro trains and buses.

“(Our 11 schools) represent over 145,000 full time and part-time collegiate students who have made a conscious decision to study in the DC metropolitan area,” the letter said. “As the representatives of those who reside in and pay taxes in the District, we encourage WMATA to support a student (Metro) discount.”

Sophomore Kyle Boyer, SA assistant vice president of community affairs, has been leading the initiative along with the support of SA President Nicole Capp and other GW student leaders.

“Metro is key to the GW experience, and GW is key to D.C.,” said Boyer, who is running for SA executive vice president. “About a year ago we began researching and planning to start an effort to get a collegiate discount on Metro.”

Boyer said he has already been communicating with leaders from other cities across the United States who have implemented a student discount for public transportation.

“We’ve been researching, looking at how other cities across the country handle college ridership, and talking with transit leaders and academics from other states,” Boyer said.

In addition, Boyer and other SA leaders have been attending Metro meetings and have been working together with Metro officials and city leaders.

“We want to work with Metro to come up with substantive proposals for the kind of discount program we would like to see,” Boyer said.

D.C.-area student leaders met Saturday night at American University for a D.C. Metro University Student Alliance meeting. The discussion that evening was dominated by talks about the reduced Metro fare prices for college students.

“Three jurisdictions participate in WMATA system – D.C., Virginia and Maryland – so it is significant that we have colleges from all three on board,” Boyer said. “Some university student governments have been more involved than others, but each of them is fully supportive of the initiative.”

Boyer said WMATA and city councilmen have been receptive to the initiative and hopes to make significant progress in the coming year.

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