Metrocard Budget

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

The Housing WG is requesting a continuation of funds for $29 weekly unlimited NYC MTA metrocards.  Funds were previously allocated for the purchase of 115 cards per week on a recurring basis, with the accepted amendment to return to this body to reevaluate that request.  We feel with the current spending freeze, and an overall streamlining of the acquisition process through one central body there is a greater need.  Therefore we are requesting an augmentation of 5 cards, for a total 120 cards per week which will require $3480 in funds.  The previously established process for distribution and requirements for access will remain the same.

​Total:​  $3,480 /week

The Housing WG is requesting funds for a two week period (28 days) from the 26.Feb to the 24.Mar inclusively to pay various items to include:

– Miscellaneous items (office supplies, transport, etc.) ​   $85 /week

43 Responses to “Metrocard Budget”

  1. David Buccola

    We’ve donated enough money to the MTA by now. My friendly amendment is that we set aside this money into a bike fund. The various working groups can decide who in their group needs a bike for transportation and then we can come back to Spokes to determine how to allocate the bikes to those with need.

    • Marsha aka the Knitting Lady

      I am a 56 year old grandmother of 5 with a bad back, I can’t ride a bike. Are you going to piggy back me to Spokes?

      • JACK

        It Was Nice Bumping Into You On The Bus (A Coincidence Caused By NO “L” trains Running: A Night When SATURN and VENUS Dance Around The Moons).

        Your A Nice Person and The BEST (of a few) PROTESTER.

        It Was Also Nice Seeing, “ROB” The Most Photographed “OCCUPY”r In America (The Fella With That $-Bill Taped To Mouth and w/Sign reading, “Can Loose Me Job For [Protesting] This…” at [Occupy Town Sq.] Tompkins Sqr. Park on Sunday.

        WHAT Beautiful People (Includes Those Given METRO Cards by ‘The OWS/Coopertive; For That Purpose). Thanks For Showing-Up SisSTAR!

    • Monica McLaughlin

      No more MetroCards unless those using them are being transported to a march or to a protest or to man an info booth somewhere for outreach. This transporting of people to 60 Wall or Spokes so they can hang out in endless meetings is ridiculous. It does nothing to further or grow the Occupy movement.

      OWS is falling off the map. There is hardly a whisper in the media anymore. Donations have slowed to a trickle. This means that all these meetings are the equivelent of spinning our wheels.

      • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

        I disagree re: meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I generally dislike meetings, but I don’t know of a better way to get everyone on the same page.

        If we just kept acting and acting and acting without stopping, thinking, and discussing, we’d have a whole other set of problems. Probably the kind that get you in the news, but not in a good way. Acting without planning is how people get hurt and (unintentionally) arrested.

        BTW last I checked, which was last week, a Katherine Flowers from Housing was handling Metrocards. Yes, they keep documentation.

          • Yoni Miller


    • Monica McLaughlin

      Is there any accountability for the distribution of these metrocards? Are lists of people who receive them kept by those who are disbursing them? Where can I find this list?

  2. sumumba

    what about the disabled who can’t use bikes? what about Outreach members who canvass the city and have to attend meetings even in inclimate weather? Come on lets be SERIOUS here…if we buy bikes and we’ll need LOCKS too we’ll be ‘funding’ who?

    • David Buccola

      Please, let’s be serious. The amount of money we spend on metrocards per week is unsustainable. The distribution method is problematic for a number of reasons. People have transportation needs. Let’s address that in a sustainable fashion. I’ve seen the folks who get metrocards and most of them can ride bikes.

      If we want to continue to buy some much smaller number of metrocards, I’d like to see the system completely revamped. This should not be the job of housing. We should determine in our working groups who needs (not wants) metrocards and who could get by with a bike. We should bring that information to Spokes and discuss it and actually create a real budget that deals with the needs of our community. We could probably vastly reduce the number of cards we buy and create sustainable alternatives for many others.

      The current distribution system is severely flawed. If we buy X number of Metrocards those cards should be divided amongst the various working groups so that those working groups can decide together who actually needs a metrocard.

      The tens of thousands we’ve donated to the MTA by now could have bought a lot of bikes and locks. We can address the needs of our community in better ways than this.

      • Justin Samuels

        People, at some point the money is going to run out regardless. If you’re able bodied you’re going to have to get a job if you want to be able to survive in NYC long term,and if you want to be able to get around town.

          • Shazz

            a couple weeks ago I was denied a metro card under a group I started, Occupy Farms. one person in the group said that I wasn’t the metro card point person. another person who never comes to the meetings and was actually banned from a farm got a card. for these reasons, plus the fact that jeff’s a shady ass motherfucker who inserts himself into the access points of resources like metro cards, housing, military tents, ravi (badum-CHING!)

            i actually have been quite successful getting around while not contributing to the MTA. It usually only takes a couple minutes to get someone to swipe you in at a busy turnstile if you’re polite. Many times it’s been the first person I’ve asked. I’ve gotten myself and my friend in within minutes. People also just pay for my fare.

            Also, if the turnstile’s not busy, you can just jump. I’ve also done this many times, once in front of a cop who was guarding a guy cashing out the machine. Couldn’t really come after me.

            But then someone today loaned me a bike. I road this bike from Bed-Stuy to Astor Place in a half an hour and I was a changed man. The things you SEE on a bike! The endorphines, the rush, the feeling of accomplishment! My legs ached and my lungs expanded with the city unfolding spring, and it’s only going to get warmer. Inclement whether? What, you want OWS to buy you umbrellas too? Where were my snowshoes? Where is my wrist brace, I type like a motherfucker on this site. Where does entitlement end and personal responsibility begin?

            Or, to use another example, this afternoon I jumped the turnstile in front of McDonalds, the one that NEVER has any cops. Except for when it’s rush hour. Dumbass. That’s a $100 ticket now. Should I go to the GA to pay for it? I was tabling free literature and even got in a little show down with the cops.

            I have a feeling the collective response would be, no, your dumbass is going to have to pay for your own mistake. To which I’d respond, well your fatass is going to have to get on a damn bicycle, walk, something. You really need help getting one, I know a guy who will pay you a couple bucks to take off your clothes. No really, it’s legit. No. Really. Honest.

            And yeah, we should set aside funds to help elderly and those with special abilities continue to be involved as a matter of conscious. But you better be showing some grey or missing some limbs, none of this lazy ass bullshit. I say bring a note from a doctor excluding you from low level physical activity if you want to request funding for a bike. Most doctors would probably tell you to put the big mac down and pick up a bike helmet.

          • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

            Yo Shazz, does everyone have to pop the Jeff and Ravi ish? We’re not in high school, dude…. and this is a serious discussion. Not telling you you CAN’T, but asking nicely that you not do so because it cheapens the discussion.

          • Shazz

            Jeff’s a dick, I treat people with the respect I feel they deserve. I tried really hard to give that guy the benefit of the doubt, from the first time I listened to his bullshit in the park. Some say you shouldn’t judge others. I take a different approach: you can’t waste your life judging, so collect your info and move on.

            I could go on about the guy, but either he’s a complete headcase or malicious. Someone told me he used to organize politically for republicans so who knows. If my being an asshole probes his look into the mirror, so be it. I’m only assholes to people I wouldn’t work with, personally I can’t work with him. Fuck coddling people, it’s what I think and feel, so I’ll say it. I hope people afford me the same courtesy of blunt opinion. In fact, Jeff asked as much when we kicked him out of 86th. Behind my back, he said to me. I don’t respect you Shazz, he said. Not a real man, he said.

            So fuck Jeff, he’s been a dick for so long to so many people in this movement. Yeah, I might not have tact. But I don’t purposefully stand in the way of people like he does. I listen to the group. I respect democracy.

            Jeff doesn’t respect anything but Jeff and I don’t mind calling his ass out when I get the chance. That’s what happens on the streets, simple wisdom that takes sophistication and manners to shield yourself from. Your name is as good as your actions, you live wrong you’re going to hear it. Act like a bitch and get treated like one, real recognizes real, excuse the misogynistic urban dialect.

            i mean, I’ll still smoke a bowl with the guy, that would be interesting. as far as the discussion being cheapened, i thought it was somewhat humorous, other people joke. the day i’m the crudest and least entertaining person on this site I’ll tone it down, but it has to be both.

            in the mean time i’ll say the first thing that comes to mind, cause sometimes like Katt says you just need a little fuck it in your system


          • Urbaned

            Shazz, who are you, Holden Caufield? The new voice of Occupy? We’re trying to get some “serious shit” done here. It’s not gonna get done by telling the world that an occupier jumps over turnstiles, smokes a bowl, calls people Dick’s, etc. Maybe you should reserve some of these statements for another type of blog? It’s really getting to be too much.

          • Shazz

            I’m one person on an internet site choosing to express myself as I see fit, within the guidelines of my own ethics and whatever community agreement or lack there of stands. With all due respect, and I do respect you Urbaned because you’ve been nothing but sincere with me, I think you’re applying your own morality on myself and the world around you.

            We need solutions, not value judgments. What’s so “serious” about this “shit?” Is that what we signed up for, a more serious world? That’s what was missing, gravitas, in this the generation that inherits “the cimate is malfunctioning doomsday” from “the russians might nuke doomsday” of the past, from the “nazi doomsday” anarchist socialist doomsday indian/black/freedoms doomsdays.

            I think you combat manufactured fear with levity, not bowel movements with PhD’s. Fuck the MTA, transportation is a human right, the UN wrote it into their declaration. Fuck the drug laws, the war on drugs is a $50 BILLION dollar a year scam and growing one weed in your backyard could replace half the pills in the average american’s medicine cabinet, not to mention get them to question their reality a little bit more.

            Imagine a world where political leaders shared joints instead of high balls, doobs instead of double-shots. Hillary Clinton engaged in a shot contest with someone, was it McCain?

            I want to see her take a rip of a 3 foot bong and then see if she exclaims “we got him!” when our country bombs a fleeing leader of a sovereign nation (Muammar Gaddafi), a country that was an oil treasure chest hold out to the global central banking cartel (Libya), a ritualistic killing that involved sticking foreign objects up someone’s ass (sodomy), a punishment that not only included this life but the next, as they held his body on public display for FOUR DAYS, in violation of Islamic Rights (desecration), so that “rebels” could set up a central bank and privatize Libya’s oil reserves while the bullets were still flying, a first for any revolutionary movement (checkmate).

            What the fuck was I talking about? Oh yeah, I was talking about POLITICS, I was talking about some SERIOUS SHIT. That’s SERIOUS SHIT. That’s having your shit pushed in by a bayonette and then having your burial rites desecrated and your country enslaved. You want me to check my comments? Yeah, as soon as you check out a library book.

            Or not you personally Urbaned, it’s this whole fucking movement. A couple people talking about metro cards is idiotic, I probably just dropped more politics on this forum in one post than…I haven’t seen anywhere that people are talking about connecting our Fed to the Central Bank system headquartered out of Switzerland, the imperialism, the CIA controlled dictators, secret intel’s manipulation domestically as well as foreign, on and on. I mean the REAL playing field, the REAL history, the REAL levers of power.

            There’s so much education to accomplish, so many important discussions to be had, and I’m supposed to take a metro card seriously, even a $100 ticket seriously. When I signed up at age 18 to die willingly for a country who’s real history, real face of violence, real inhumanity I was completely oblivious to. And people are still dying, right now, for those stars and stripes. And people are still being lied to, with ALEC stationary imprinted with the words freedom on the bottom.


            What the world needs is the largest reality MIC CHECK in the history of man. I jump over that turnstile like my cousins jump the borders, because human beings will do what it takes to survive, fuck your rules. I smoke because since the beginning of civilizations man has claimed his right and gift to alter his state of consciousness, gateway drug indeed, gateway to another type of thinking.

            I didn’t come to NYC to hold anything back, I came to empty out my guts on the slaughter block of history and see either a new world or a broken man emerge.

            And I feel fucking great. Hell, I’ve just started a new occupation


            Jeff can come too, as long as he’s willing to actually talk politics and not administration. In the mean time, when you see my naked icon and you don’t think what I have to say will be worthwhile you can just skim or skip the post.

            I’ll fuck with the turnstile jumpers for the world, bong maker, stacker of greens, player with genitals and the nations orgasm deliverer, stormy husky brawling, movement of the people


            and for the record, I love Holden Caufield and love even more his creator, a brilliant writer. you read any of Salinger’s short stories, dark shit.

            your attempts at censorship, i don’t love so much. appreciate or ignore my colorfulness or put a fire under tech’s ass to create a community net agreement and end my bad habit, cause i really have more important things i should be doing right now as well.

            and yet this fish bowl’s so fuckin interesting

    • JaneDoe

      Do like the rest of us do and go without in order to afford a metro pass. If people really want to get to the all important, lets-go-hang-out-in-a-different-location-chatting-about-the-same-nonsense meetings, they can do it on their own dime. If it’s important, they will find a way there.
      it’s odd that I never see many of those getting metrocards, the free shelter and food at any ows events or meetings.

  3. sumumba

    ALL this sounds like its spoken by FOLKS who aren’t in the community doing the WORK that some of us are…but FINE..cut out the metros whatever…but if we are SUPPORTED by AFFINITY groups to do the same things we are doing now…DON’T try to tell us how to spend the money…cuz as long as its going to OUTREACH AND MOVEMENT Building and coming from sources that wish to support that, thats all that matters…

    Whats wack is that many of the ‘1%’ HAS BEEN supporting us and we STILL find a way to LOSE spaces,QUESTION the source of our monies and then tell them how they should SPEND their money thats supporting US….incredible..but even more that we think we can build a movement on ‘actions’ or without money at all…perhaps we should make sure ALL of u who have ‘jobs’ (cuz heaven knows there’s PLENTY out there!), should just TITHE to support the movement? Yea there’s a thought…hmmmm

    • John Doe

      This is the elitism that is killing OWS. In your first paragraph you basically make the point that someone else’s voice isn’t as important as yours, because theyre not ‘in the community doing the WORK that some of us are. Shame on you. You are clearly the one percent of the 99 percent. Take you ego and shove it.

    • David Buccola

      Really Sumumba? You don’t think there are any problems with the way metrocards are given out? Do you really think we have a system that equitably distributes resources to those most in need? Is any of this sustainable? We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on metrocards. How many bikes have we bought? This is a very bikeable city. I’m not saying you need to bike around it; but out of the 100 plus people who get metrocards is it unreasonable to think that some of them might actually benefit from a bike (with a lock and a helmet)? We really can’t do this any better than a free for all of 125 metrocards randomly given out?

      • Yoni Miller

        I agree, it’s unsustainable, mathematically, and bikes would be a much more efficient process. I think a careful process, with consideration given to particularly, disabled and elderly people (I am not sure how to say this more affectionately) because we DO want to make it accessible. Can someone like myself ride? Absolutely, can some others? not at all.

        The other possibility perhaps, would be for calls to help substitute physical presence, provided certain criteria?

        • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

          Been trying to get more meetings to happen by con-call or RT chat since October… but then, some people really do need physical presence to feel a sense of community. I don’t so much… /shrug

          Besides being all about funding something that isn’t a *recurring weekly cost*, I’d say we might want to give travel budget priority to people who have absolute physical presence requirements, like Kitchen, SIS, etc.

    • Steve

      Agreed. I don’t think that this is sustainable. Yoni also points out below this very well that for just 3 months of metro cards we are paying over 30,000 dollars. We have just over 90,000 dollars left of budget and we are set to run out within 4-5 weeks.

  4. jillturnerart

    Want to talk about resources? LOOK HERE: SUNDAY
    MEETING WITH Ben Cohen, Danny Goldberg, etc.

    Movement Resource Group Informational Meeting
    The Movement Resource Group, (formerly OMG) would like to invite you to an Informational Meeting for the OWS Community.
    Sunday, February 26 7PM West Park Presbyterian Church 165 West 86th Street (Amsterdam Ave)
    The Movement Resource Group (MRG) is an independent non profit tax exempt organization which functions as an Occupy affinity group. Its purpose is to raise money to fund certain projects within the national Occupy movement.
    We hope that you can join us.
    Ben Cohen Richard Foos Danny Goldberg Jerry Greenfield Dal Lamagna Judy Wicks

  5. Queer Homo

    I think it’s funny that the main people weighing in on this are people NOT served by the MetroCard System. It’s more of the #OWS Supporters & their traditional Top Down Thinking.

    If you are not a Stakeholder in something or even a participant in what is being discussed you might let those effected by the topic take the lead.

    Spending $29 bucks a week per Occupier in need for transportation is a SMALL investment.

    Please don’t forget our movement is made up of individuals & jumping in with these concerns HERE is only widening the divide between Occupiers & those who work to Support the Movement.

    This is the marginalization that keeps on happening by #OWS Supporters of us on the ground.
    At least #OWS Supporters have the free time & computer access to contribute to this important topic.

    Think before you weigh in on a topic, please?

    #PointOfInformation: There is a newly formed Bike Working Group working towards sustainable solutions to transportation.

    • Yoni Miller

      I did use the metrocards at some point, and would certainly say I am very concerned with the rash tone of this proposal, but do the math,

      29*100*12 (for 12 weeks so far) is a whopping 34,800 bucks!! Can it continue longer? I don’t think so.

      • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

        Yo Yoni, on a side note, how funny was it when I tweeted the “Math != marginalization” bit at Roseanne Barr last night?

        Hint for tweeps: Don’t try to get all mathy/techie with Roseanne.

    • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

      Justin, Math != marginalization. In fact, I’d say math is about the fairest way possible to make sense of this issue. I’m feeling @yoni2b on that one.

  6. jillturnerart

    I wonder if you could have rented a live work space with some of that metro money. People might have been happy to stay home and “get shit done”.
    I think it’s ultimately sabotaging housing efforts that felons and chronically homeless have been included in our housing efforts. I heard from a reliable DA young man ( and again all I can do is trust my sources), there is housing available but people are afraid that we’re creating homeless shelters.

    We should have the integrity to select for success. As a result OWS is represented more and more by people who dominate our technology and organizing efforts. Hardly a diverse group – a lot of cross pollination of the most controlling people .

    • Justin Samuels

      Its true that felons and chronically homeless have been a problem. However, one way you avoid having to deal with problem people in a housing situation is by getting a JOB and paying for your own housing, whether its a room, apartment, or whatever.

      The only way OWS can screen out felons is if people were going to do background checks. Considering all the identity theft going around, I seriously doubt anyone would trust a leaderless group with their social security information and with their I.D.

      • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

        One way around that is giving whatever name you want…. but if we can’t find proof that you ‘exist’ in the government sense using just that name, no housing hookup. Pretty easy to confirm that Jack T. Sprat age 34 does or does not exist without a SSN. We don’t need your credit history or resume or anything, and there are public records WRT to imprisonment.

        You volunteering for BG check duty, Justin?

  7. aaannnooonnn

    I am one of the ones some of you might call a free loader. I eat the free food every single day and i take a metro card. i sit in on a working group as required to get the metro. (which is actually a good experience because we get stuff off our chest, makes us feel like we are being listened to and that our ideas matter but most of you would probably say the working group does nothing).
    do we deserve the food and metro? well i guess that is what you are deciding for us. (i don’t mean that negatively, it is just the truth- most of us don’t go to the spokes counsels and if we do most of us just listen). but what we do go to are the actions, the marches, the rallies, etc. we are the rude crude loud ballsy backbone that sprung up from the rock bottom of the unjust system. we are the front lines. we place ourselves not only in danger of jail (which may be better than our sleep arrangements for the night) but we place ourselves within batons reach.
    we bring our talents. we make signs, we sing, we drum, we dance, we chant, and we get in the face of those who oppress us. we have no where else we have to be at. we may not have the smarts to function according to process or to make a nice proposal… we have come to leave that up to you. we see your function in the movement, we hope that you see ours. we will survive without the metros and the food… but you may not see us around as much… especially if actions are far from where we stay at. its not a pretty picture… or well to some i guess maybe it is.

    • dicey troop

      anon, i appreciate your frankness.

      I have absolutely no objection to y’all being where you’re at and doing what you’re doing. But, as someone who is invested and involved in the decision-making processes of #OWS, a really big priority for me personally is finding ways to change the way you, and folks who similarly identify as not process-oriented, think about your participation.

      We go to marches too, we’re loud, we shout, we chant, we organize actions and join you in carrying them out. What’s different isn’t that we’re so smart or clever, it’s that we’re more prepared to empower ourselves and each other through horizontal process. That’s not on us, and it’s not on you — it just is. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I hope when you find some problem or issue that is common to many folks that you’ll dream up some solutions, bring them to your friends and comrades, bring them to folks you don’t know all that well, bring them to working groups, discuss and learn and develop until you have a super solid idea. And then I hope you bring it to GA or to Spokes, hopefully via a collective group of people you’ve gotten invested in your idea. And then I hope we reach consensus on supporting it.

      Because we need y’all at the marches, and in the parks, and around, and being great. But we also really, really need y’all up there with us thinking through our problems and coming up with solutions. Some of us may be bad at showing it, but I think we all know that we can’t really do it without you. We may have different toolsets, but we need *all* of our skills to win. So I hope that you can help us to find ways to work together better, and I hope we listen, and vice-versa.

      <3 and solidarity

      • Karen S

        Thanks Anon and Dicey for putting my feelings into words. We need to talk more amongst ourselves about what we have in common, why we came/come to OWS, an occupation, Zuccotti, the Work Groups, Affinity Groups, tweeting and livestreaming, rather than focusing on our differences. We need to LISTEN to one another, and then begin to have conversations about our values…so that we can collectively build the community that we all seek to live in. We each a role to play, and have different skills, and need to work together to create a different way of life for all of us — and it will take ALL of us that are drawn to this movement to make this a reality.

        Thank you.
        Blessings and Solidarity,

        • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

          <3 see? We DO care about each other.

          Thanks Anon and Dicey!

  8. Gypsyatsea

    Many of us, believe it or not, work VERY VERY HARD every day for this movement. Who gets to say if one person’s work is more vital than another’s? That this Occupier has more worth than that one? I’d like to suggest not judging anyone’s contribution to OWS. Rather, take some time to appreciate and value the simple presence of EVERYONE whose heart and soul lies with Occupy.

    You guys all know me. My work for OWS (not only with Screenprinting) takes me all over the city. From 8am answering emails, to closing SIS as late as 11pm, I don’t stop. And I work with a lot of other excruciatingly dedicated people, along this same schedule. I commute from north Astoria to lower Manhattan every day, usually with boxes or bags half my weight. So as much as I would love to have a bike, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be of much use. I think a simple $29 a week is not much to ask.

    The Metrocard situation is not solely relied upon by people who “do nothing.” Without the support from the collective movement… well, no one would have the spiffy tees and patches we all love so much, or the five digit $ figure the screen guild has contributed to the general fund.

    What makes everyone so certain we can’t continue to pull in the financial contributions we enjoyed at the outset? There’s so much support for Occupy as a whole, all over the country — all over the world — and it’s only going to grow. These resources are alive and well if we can simply come together, and not be so precious with what we already have. What are we going to do with the remaining fund, use it to generate more support, money, participation, outreach? Or put it all in a vault somewhere and horde it away? In doing the latter, are we maybe acting a little bit like the corporations we so vehemently oppose?

    While its true that OWS is not a social service provider, we ARE a group of visionary, altruistic individuals with the common goal of eradicating social injustice. So let’s not marginalize our own family, or allow materialistic squabbling to divert us from the tasks against which we’re making slow and careful headway.

    It’s hard to break out of the mindset we’re all used to. We’ve all been victimized, marginalized, and have suffered most of our lives with a crippling lack of vital resources. Am I right? It’s not easy to overcome the mindset that the deck is stacked against us. But it can be done. THAT’S WHY WE ARE ALL HERE.

    We can all help ourselves, and yet still allow the collective FAMILY of OWS to help us individually.

    In short — Bikes for some, Metrocards for some, COMPASSION AND EMPATHY FOR ALL. Don’t disappear my Metrocard, bro.