From the NY Post:
The city and state fork over a staggering $1 billion a year to move schoolkids on yellow buses, while stiffing the MTA on its student MetroCard program -- which is far less expensive and significantly more efficient.
In fact, while MetroCards help move four times as many students at one-fifth of the cost of school buses, MTA officials say they have to cancel the program because city and state officials won't pay for its increasing expenses.
The agency said it spends about $214 million to transport 585,000 students for free every year, with the city and state putting in only $45 million and $25 million respectively.
Meanwhile, the Education Department's $1 billion school-bus program moves only about 140,000 students, city statistics show.
That's $786 million more for 445,000 fewer students.
But city officials insist that money can't be taken from one group and given to the other.
"Busing requirements are set by state law. The city does not have the option of using busing money to fund MetroCards," said one mayoral aide.
The DOE determines who is eligible for both yellow bus and free MTA services.
And, of course, there is nothing political involved in that! After all, the more kids you deem eligible for yellow school buses, the more it helps tweeding efforts. And the further away you build the schools from where the kids who attend them live, the more school buses you will need.