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NYC Parents Brace for Possible Yellow School Bus Strike

The NYC Bus Drivers' Union — Local 1181—may launch a strike very soon, a service disruption that would affect more than 152,000 students citywide

A message from New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott warns parents with children attending a NYC public school of the possibility of a yellow bus strike soon after the holidays-- a disruption that could happen any day now and, if so, would affect more than 152,000 students citywide.

In a letter dated December 21, 2012, Walcott warns parents about a pending labor negotiation between the bus drivers union -- Local 1181-- and the City that, if not settled, could result in severe service disruptions or possibly complete discontinuance of yellow bus service.

The City's current yellow bus service contract is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2013 school year. As the DOE has issued a bid for a new yellow bus company contract beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the union is asking that the DOE include an Employee Protection Provision that will preserve the jobs of tenured workers should the DOE hire a new contractor. Without this provision, the union states it will strike.

"We regret the possibility of what could be a major disturbance in the lives of students and their families," said Walcott in the letter to parents. "We continue to hope that the bus drivers’ and escorts’ union will not take such action in response to what is the proper, legal course of action for the Department of Education to take on behalf of our students and the City’s taxpayers."

However, in the event a strike should happen, the DOE has advised parents of the follow protocols:

  • All students who currently receive yellow bus service may receive a MetroCard. MetroCards are being made available at schools and should be requested through the school’s general office. We have already informed the Transit Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders
  • Parents of pre-school and school-age children with IEPs requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, as well as parents of general education children in grades K-2, may also request a MetroCard for the parent or guardian to act as the child’s escort to school.
  • As an alternative to MetroCards for parents whose children receive busing from their home, or students in grades K-6 receiving yellow bus service from a school bus stop who live in areas where public transportation between home and school is not readily available, we are offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 55 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that include a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made one week at a time on forms that will be provided in schools’ general offices.
  • Field trips using yellow bus service will be canceled if there is a bus service disruption. After school programs will remain open, but no busing will be provided

For more information and/or updates on the status of the potential strike, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311 or the Pupil Transportation Hotline at 718-392-8855.

Park Slope rider January 09, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Ladydi, No one but children should be riding on the sidewalks. People doing so is an enforcement issue, I encourage to complain to the NYPD about it.
Ladydi69126 January 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM
No one should be riding bikes on sidewalks period. Its to congested parents bring your kids to the park to ride their bikes. Children especially have no regard for the elderly when riding bikes i have seen it to often in PS.
Slope Parker January 09, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Parksloper You and the other car lovers should move to the New Jersey suburbs and let the adults walk, bike, and take transit in peace.
Slope Parker January 09, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Lady, how am I supposed to take my children to the park to ride their bicycles other than on their bicycles? Also, the park is not convenient to my home and kids' school. It is legal for kids under 14 to ride on the sidewalk.
Dudley Escobar January 10, 2013 at 03:49 PM
You people complaining about cars, bikes, or anything else...you live in New York. People are going to drive their cars and ride their bikes, everywhere you go, forever. It's part of living in a big city and it's not going to change. Get over it.

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