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BREAKING: Student MetroCards saved

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 5:32 p.m.

Students across the city are breathing a sigh of relief. After a slew of protests and major backlash a deal has been reached to allow students to keep their free MetroCards to get to school.

Reports indicate that the deal was reached late Thursday afternoon for the state and the city to pitch in the needed funds for the MetroCards. The MTA, state legislators, Gov. David Paterson all came together to keep the program running.

The threat to take student MetroCards was announced by the MTA in late 2009 in an effort to fill an $800 million budget gap. Over half a million students would have been affected by the elimination of the MetroCards.

Last Friday hundreds of students gathered at City Hall to protest against the removal of free student MetroCards. The students said they rely on the program in order to get to and from schools that aren't in their neighborhoods. Critics said that taking the MetroCards would have increased truancies and arrests for youth jumping turnstiles.

The state plans to pay $25 million to keep the program going along with state legislatures lifting the cap on its five-year borrowing plan for the MTA.

An official announcement has not yet been made by the MTA.