The Amalgamated Transit Union 1181, representing about 8,800 New York City school bus drivers and matrons, is planning to go on strike this Wednesday. Below is updated information from the NYC Department of Education (DOE) about what to do in the event that they do strike:
- All students who currently receive yellow bus service may receive a MetroCard. These MetroCards are being made available at your local school and should be requested through each school’s general office. Schools will distribute student MetroCards beginning Tuesday, Jan. 15th.
- Parents of pre-school and school-age children with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) 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. Parent MetroCards will be distributed beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16th. These cards can be used on subways beginning Wednesday, Jan. 16th and on buses beginning Thursday, Jan. 17th.
- The DOE is offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs (subject to DOE guidelines) for students in grades K-6 who receive yellow bus service from home or a school bus stop and live in areas where public transportation is not readily available.
- 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 includes a receipt for provided services.
- Requests for reimbursements should be made weekly on forms that will be made available on the DOE website and in each school’s general office.
- It’s possible that some bus routes will continue to operate during the strike. There’s a route finder on the DOE’s web site at https://www.opt-osfns.org/opt/Resources/SchoolRouteStSearch/SearchResult.aspx that will show the status of all bus routes to each school. This tool will be updated daily at 7 a.m., beginning this Wednesday, Jan. 16th.
- In the unfortunate event that students cannot get to school, the DOE will be posting materials online for every grade and core subject so that students can continue their learning at home during the strike.
Please contact your local school, 311 or the Office of Pupil Transportation at (718) 392-8855 for additional information.