Category: Society / January 17, 2013 9:27 AM EST
More than 8,800 school bus drivers in New York City went on strike Wednesday, forcing more than 150,000 students to seek alternative transports to school.
Most of New York City's school buses stopped on Wednesday, a situation the city's government had reportedly been prepared for. Subway capacity was increased and security around the schools strengthened on the strike day.
According to the government's strike-addressing measures, students who rely on school bus services were granted free subway passes. In addition, students who were affected by the strike were given an allowance to be two hours late for school.
Although many measures had been taken, the strike still brought huge inconveniences to students and parents. The strike was reportedly triggered by the city authority's decision of seeking a new school bus contract which puts the current drivers in danger of losing their jobs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg commented on the strike:
"The new York State court of appeals ruled that the city could not legally include the job protection provision the union is demanding, and that decision was not just a decision of the appeals court it was a decision written by the head judge of that body. This provision is the only reason the union is calling a strike. They will pretend it's about safety but the fact is these contracts include the exact safety provisions as the current contracts."
New York City now pays 1.1 billion U.S dollars a year to school-bus contractors and the new contract is expected to cut 95 million dollars out of the budget in five years.