Students from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU are petitioning for subsidized transportation between NYU-Poly’s campus in Brooklyn and Washington Square. As of press time, the petition had 498 signatures, with a goal of 600.
NYU-Poly students currently pay a mandatory university fee of over $600 per semester, which is meant to cover costs for access to all NYU facilities, including Bobst Library, dining halls, Coles Sports Center and Palladium Athletic Facilities. It does not cover transportation for NYU-Poly students in Brooklyn to reach these Manhattan locations.
The petition was started by NYU-Poly freshman Jeffrey Nichtberger and is hosted on the website change.org. The title of the petition is “Set up a free or cheap transportation system between NYU-Poly and NYU’s campuses.”
“The overbearing price of over $600 per semester seemed self-defeating if accessing NYU’s facilities was impractical,” Nichtberger said.
On NYU-Poly’s frequently asked questions page about the merger with NYU, it states that there are no current plans to create a free transportation system between the campuses.
“Going forward, a dedicated transportation system may be considered if demand warrants it,” the page says.
On the petition website, Nichtberger addressed the issue of transportation costs, proposing issuing student-subsidized Metrocards to pay for the subway rides using the $600 university fee, or creating swipe systems to record and refund students for their Metro cards within a certain period of time after they arrive on campus.
Mushen Yu, an NYU-Poly sophomore, supports the petition and commented on the petition website with his reason for signing it.
“I have courses at [NYU’s] Washington Square campus from Monday to Thursday,” Yu wrote. “It costs me $20 a week to go there.”
Other students are satisfied with alternative modes of transportation.
“The alternatives aren’t too expensive,” said Greg Zucaro, an NYU-Poly senior. “A subway ride gets you between the two campuses in 15-20 minutes, and if you’re willing to exert yourself a little, and if you have a Citibike membership, that’s even cheaper,” he said.
The petition is to be delivered to NYU-Poly vice president of strategic initiatives Elizabeth Lusskin and dean of student affairs Anita Farrington.
“We have reviewed the petition and continue to believe that New York’s subways best meet student transportation needs, both for sustainability reasons and for their significant time-saving advantage,” said Kathleen Hamilton, marketing and communications director at NYU-Poly who spoke on the behalf of Lusskin and Farrington.
“[NYU-Poly] students are eligible to take the NYU Safe Ride on-demand vans after midnight,” Hamilton said. “The MTA does not have a program to subsidize the public transportation costs of college students.”
She did not comment as to whether NYU or NYU-Poly were planning to subsidize travel between the two campuses.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 16 print edition. Jeffrey Kopp is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]