School bus drivers threaten strike

metro file

For the past several days, Transit Union Local 1181 has threatened to strike n response to the city’s decision to invite bids on yellow school bus contracts.

The city said it has been more than 33 years since competitive bidding has occurred, and that transportation costs taxpayers an average of $6,900 a year per student. The second largest school district in the country, Los Angeles, costs less than half that.

The union believes special needs kids need experienced drivers and bus attendants, and that those corners will be cut if cheaper options are pursued.

“We have an obligation to use our money effectively,” Mayor Bloomberg asserted on Monday, reiterating a desire to “put that money in the classrooms.”

The mayor shrugged off the union’s concerns that current drivers could be pushed out of their jobs.

“We cannot dictate to any bidder that they have to employ the current people,” he said “And I can tell you we wouldn’t do it anyway.”

The mayor said that his administration is ready to provide students and parents with MetroCards in the event of a strike, and have a voucher system in place for private cars where needed.

Some are concerned that the union may not give ample notice before going on strike.

City Councilman David Greenfield urged negotiators on both sides to continue talks and avoid a strike, highlighting the 60,000 special needs students who reply on transportation to schools.

“It would be a slap in the face to the hard-working parents on New York City to stop yellow bus service without giving parents the opportunity to make alternate arrangements,” Greenfield warned.


Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…