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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.

Ladydi69126 January 03, 2013 at 04:32 PM
No more bike lanes! The streets are bad enough
fit4ufor3rd January 03, 2013 at 04:49 PM
so my disabled grand daughter should ride her bike to school in 20 degree weather?
Park Slope rider January 03, 2013 at 05:32 PM
How about no more free, on-street parking, that should clear up any problems drivers have with the streets.
Parent January 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM
The streets are bad because of too many cars. Give people options to get out of their cars and it will be better for those who truly need to drive!
Parent January 03, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Well, fit, if more able-bodied people switched to walking and biking, traffic would be better for the people who absolutely need to drive.
Parksloper January 03, 2013 at 09:40 PM
It's not free. It's called taxes. Now bikes park for free and also pay no insurance and no registration fees.
ANONYMOUS January 03, 2013 at 11:38 PM
SO YOU WOULD LET YOUR 2ND GRADER RIDE A BIKE TO SCHOOL...SHADES OF ETAN PATZ. WHAT RESPONSIBLE PARENT WOULD NOT BE CONCERNED THAT UNTRAINED DRIVERS WOULD BE IN CHARGE OF THEIR CHILDRENS LIVES. APPARENTLY THE FACT THAT OVER 200 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN BIKE RELATED ACCIDENT NEXT YEAR DOESN'T SEEM TO CONCERN A NEGLIGENT PARENT
Ann January 04, 2013 at 04:59 AM
How stupid some people can be. Many children depend on School Bus service. How can a child with disabilities ride a bike to school?. How can any parent send their second grader on a City bus to get to their school?. Parents need to send their children on safe School Buses. What is wrong with Bloomberg? He's always starting something., He is a trouble maker, leave the School Bus Co. alone..They do a great job taking our children to and from school..Now, you want to take their jobs away. Bloomberg, you are a very rich man, leave the hard working middle class earner alone. You can spend what these workers make in one week in a New York minute..Their pay means nothing to you!. I don't want my children on a School Bus that does not has reliable, professional bus driver or escorts doing this job. Bloomberg wants to let any dope drive our children to and from school, just so he can save money for the City. How about all us parents that have to go to work? We need School Bus service, we all can not drive our kids to school. What do you care Bloomberg, you're rich! I agree with "Anonymous"....Bloomberg, leave well enough alone and go find something else to do..God knows you have all the money in the world. Maybe you should learn to drive a School Bus, with kids on it. Then maybe you would understand how the other half lives.
Ladydi69126 January 04, 2013 at 03:50 PM
And where are you supposed to park your cars??? Some people depend on their CARS for transportation and don't have the capabilities to BIKE RIDE Want to ride your bike go to the park
Parent January 04, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Lady, if more people ditch their cars and walk or bike then there is more space for people who depend on their CARS.
Parent January 04, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Next year? You can predict the future? Also, more kids die INSIDE of cars in crashes and accidents than on bikes. Driving with your kids is one of the most negligent things you can do as a parent.
Dudley Escobar January 04, 2013 at 07:54 PM
I'm not sure you read or understood the potential cause of the strike. The drivers' and escorts' union is demanding a form of job protection that they've never had before, or else they will strike. I'm no fan of Bloomberg but it seems to me he would be content to keep things as they are, and it's the union that is causing the problem.
Dudley Escobar January 04, 2013 at 07:57 PM
There's a little key on the left side of your keyboard, in between Tab and Shift. It's the Caps Lock key, and you should use it. Also, did you seriously reference a 40-year old missing child case to make your point that parents shouldn't let their kids go to school alone? You understand that NYC isn't the same place it was in the 70's, right?
BRADY January 05, 2013 at 01:34 PM
I thought the DOE learned it's lession in the begining of the school year when they contracted out to a cheaper yellow bus company with inexperinced drivers and matrons, after all the stories that came out about the childrens' 3,4 hour bus rides to and from school, they then had to break the contract due to the huge outcry of incompetence and negligence
BRADY January 05, 2013 at 01:46 PM
You're absolutley right! all of those bike racks on the sidewalk and should be taken away at once! the sidewalks are for pedestrians only, not for anything else, bikes should be parked at metered spots in the street where they belong,and subject to the same penalties as the other vehicles
Parksloper January 05, 2013 at 08:24 PM
There are options Parent, it's called the subway and buses. Maybe you've heard of them.
Park Slope rider January 06, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Well said Parent, I wish I had said my piece that way.
Park Slope rider January 06, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Parksloper, your car fees and related taxes do not pay for anywhere near what is needed to fund roads and emergency services. I pay taxes as well and cause near minimal damage to streets, take up no public space in storing my bike especially when I am not using it. When I do use it, my bike is not a carcinogen spewing machine that easily kills or maims my fellow New Yorkers. Consider the percentage of cars parked for free in our public space vs those that are at meters or in lots. I agree about racks on sidewalks BRADY, I think sidewalks should all be widened, take parking lanes out. In the space for one car you can fit parking for 15-20 bikes. Parent makes a great point that with more bike lanes, more people will ride bikes, (not everyone, not forcing anyone,) and it will be safer for those that do ride bikes and easier for those that choose to drive cars. Young kids can ride bikes safely, it is possible. Yet seems the reaction to the first post is a painful logic that kids can't ride bikes because it's dangerous out there due to cars being unsafe , but we still must give as much space as we can to cars. Most people in NYC do not own cars, yet look at how our street space is allotted, look at how cars treat pedestrians when people are crossing the street. Look at how the NYPD treats people hit or killed by cars. (It's not good)
BRADY January 06, 2013 at 12:19 PM
if most people in NYC don't own cars why is it so hard to park in this city
BRADY January 06, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Park Slope rider, i take it from your screen name you live in Park Slope ,Park Slope has a plethora of alternate mass transit choices for inclement weather when you can't ride, a lot of city neighborhoods are not in the same situation
Ladydi69126 January 07, 2013 at 01:25 PM
I myself walk or mass transit i refuse to buy another car due to parking in Park Slope but the bike situation IS out of control. Between the carriages and bikes on the sidewalks there is no room especially for the elderly which i have seen myself people being rude to them for being slow
Parksloper January 08, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Park Slope rider You and the other car haters should move to Amish country and let the adults drive their cars in peace.
Park Slope rider January 09, 2013 at 03:51 PM
You are sort of making my point for me, those under served neighborhoods have people walking/riding all year, and they deserve to be safe. No one is saying people shouldn't be able to use cars,
Park Slope rider January 09, 2013 at 03:52 PM
You are sort of making my point for me, those under served neighborhoods have people walking/riding all year, and they deserve to be safe. No one is saying people shouldn't be able to use cars,
Park Slope rider January 09, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Wow, it's the Godwin's law of Brooklyn Blogs, I should leave... Notice I don't suggest you move to Atlanta to sit in all the traffic jams you want... You realize you live in a urban environment, there are options other than cars to get places. Driving you cars in peace? That's a good one. Other people's desire to travel not at the whim or peril of car drivers is simply not too much to ask. Parksloper, please remember you are arguing about your convenience, and I am arguing for safety, my safety, using city streets and specifically the safety of children trying to get to school. This is why you NIMBYs are found to be particularly, um, revolting.
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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