New York spent $20.6m on travel in school bus strike

School bus drivers walked a picket line outside a school bus facility last month in Queens, N.Y.

Bebeto Matthews/AP/File

School bus drivers walked a picket line outside a school bus facility last month in Queens, N.Y.

NEW YORK — The city spent roughly $20.6 million in transit cards, taxis, and gas mileage to get tens of thousands of stranded students to school during the monthlong bus strike, but some still didn’t get there, schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Monday.

The 7,700 or so bus routes that serve the nation’s largest school district will resume Wednesday following mid-winter recess, but routes for nonpublic schools will start Tuesday, Walcott said.


The Amalgamated Transit Union ended its walkout on Friday after union leaders were assured by prospective New York City mayoral candidates that their concerns about job protection would be heard after this year’s election. They went on strike Jan. 16.

‘‘We are glad to welcome back the local 1181 drivers and matrons,’’ Walcott said. ‘‘Their children have missed them . . . and we need them back so our children can get to school.’’

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Walcott estimated the city saved $80 million because it wasn’t paying bus companies during the strike, which started over job protection issues. Local 1181 of the ATU wanted the city to include protections for current employees in future contracts with bus companies, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg said a court ruling prohibited the city from doing so.

Just 152,000 of New York City’s 1.1 million public schoolchildren ride school buses, but many are disabled.

Associated Press

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