In the News

 

School Transportation (also see embedded items at PIST NYC on Facebook)

Feb 2015 

Reporter Melissa Russo interviewed the parents and broadcast the following report:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Porter-Services-Restored-Students-Wheelchairs-New-York-City-Department-of-Education-Queens-I-Team-291907311.html

 

Public Advocate Letitia James, Students, School Advocates Join To Call On DOE To Provide Air Conditioning In All School Buses Transporting Special Needs Students

 District 75 Student Ahjaah Jewett, Advocates Note That Some Special Needs Students Are Non-Verbal

 

(New York, NY)— On Friday, July 11, 2014, Public Advocate Letitia James was joined by special needs students, Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST), and other school advocates in calling on the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to provide air conditioning in all school buses transporting special needs District 75 students, and to include such a provision in future contracts with busing companies. 

 

New York City’s 23,000 District 75 students consist of some of the most vulnerable youth in our school system, including students on the autism spectrum and with severe disabilities. Some students are non-verbal or otherwise may be unable to communicate physical distress. The commute to their schools can span 2.5 hours daily depending on their location. Some District 75 parents have complained of their children arriving home sweating and overheated.
 

Ahjaah Jewett, 13, a District 75 student joined her mother in speaking on her experience on a hot, overcrowded school bus. After complaining numerous times about overheating to the bus driver, Ahjaah called 9-1-1 and was taken to a hospital for treatment. The Jewett family noted that drivers must be sensitive to communicating with children who are non-verbal or have uncommon speech patterns.

 

“We must do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our most vulnerable students. I join parents and school advocates in calling on the DOE to do a better job in overseeing their contracts with bus companies that do not comply with the NYC Administrative code. Too many parents state that they have called the DOE's Office of Pupil Transportation, yet the office has not been responsive to their concerns,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.

 

“As the President of the Citywide District 75 Council, and a parent of two students who attend District 75 programs, I find it very reprehensible that students with and without disabilities find themselves on school buses that are not equipped with working air-conditioning units. This is simply not acceptable! Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) cannot accept the excuses of the bus company owners considering the amount of money being spent on contacts that service all NYC students. This needs to be rectified immediately and we look forward to hearing back from OPT on this matter,” said Gloria Corsino, President of Citywide Council for District 75.

 

“As this administration makes sweeping improvements in a number of areas, it is my hope that they will look closely into taking the necessary steps to provide air conditioning on school buses that service our most vulnerable students. As all New Yorkers know, it can be brutally hot during the summer months, especially in vehicles that have sat in the sun for hours. I echo our Public Advocate's request that the DOE look into this matter so that we keep our special needs students safe,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, District 10.

 

According to New York City Administrative Code, “Any bus or other motor vehicle transporting a child with a disability to and from a school in the city pursuant to any agreement or contract shall be air-conditioned when the ambient outside temperature exceeds seventy degrees Fahrenheit.”

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 


March to April 2014
1)  From 3/26/14:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/252547921.html
[To quote our sister busing advocate Carin van der Donk:

Just one note: those delays mentioned are NOT caused by the bus drivers. Usually they are just as frustrated as the parents with the routes they are given. The delays are caused by buses that break down a lot, inept routing by OPT, over crowding, students from different school sharing a bus route and other such preventable reasons for delays.]


2)  From 3/27/14:
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/252783331.html

[which shows some silent footage of the press conference before the hearings]

3)  And in the city government video files from the hearings about busing on 3/27/14:
http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Video.aspx?Mode=Auto&URL=aHR0cDovL2NvdW5jaWxueWMucGVnY2VudHJhbC5jb20vZmxhc2gvbWVkaWFfcGxheWVyXzc5OGMuc3dmP3NlcnZlcj1ueWMtcnRtcC5wZWdjZW50cmFsLmNvbSZhY2NvdW50PWNvdW5jaWxueWMmdmlkZW9GaWxlbmFtZT1OWUNDLVBWLTI1MC0xNjE0MDMyNy0xMzE3NTkubXA0&Mode2=Video#.UzTWUGpM_IE.facebook

This one is over 2.5 hours long...the panels involving parents are around the 1:44 mark.  The Deputy Chancellor in charge of OPT did not show her face but has a statement read beginning at minute 7. 
The company owners did not attempt to defend their practices either. 

4)   Another article and video can be seen at http://laborpress.org/sectors/green-initiatives/3480-doe-mia-at-employee-protection-provision-hearing

5)
Typical of the problem, 250 Staten Island drivers and matrons face layoff according to
http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/03/ic_bus_got_outbid_250_staten_i.html#incart_river
Again we ask, WHY IS OUR CHILDREN'S SAFETY UP FOR BIDDING?

November to December 2013

http://www.wnyc.org/story/advocates-report-details-two-months-school-bus-woes/

Report by team of Norman Siegel, Civil Rights attorney

http://laborpress.org/sectors/green-initiatives/3149-school-bus-co-goes-belly-up-post-epp?utm_medium=email&utm_source=LaborPress&utm_campaign=3470602_December+19%2C+2013&utm_content=WatchVideoofparentsandATUatTweed&dm_i=1JEK%2C22DXM%2C8G9WKA%2C7G7WV%2C1

9 minute video of Dec 17 rally, Tish James responds to letter from parents

 

http://www.ny1.com/content/news/200511/parents-and-drivers-protest-shutdown-of-longstanding-school-bus-company

Article on Dec 17 rally, video available to subscribers

 

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/schools_chancellor_to_parents.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Dec 17 Quotes Sara of PIST

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/school-bus-company-shutting-article-1.1552472

Dec. 19 page 2 of Daily News informs about OPT letter and ATU comments

 

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/12/19/bus-problems-could-leave-thousands-of-nyc-school-kids-in-need-of-a-ride/

Coverage of issue on 12/19 featuring Carin of Common Sense Busing and caring Matron

Start of School Year 2013-14

http://www.ny1.com/content/news/188783/mother-says-overcrowded-bus-creates-problems-for-autistic-students

http://www.wnyc.org/story/316239-still-feeling-repercussions-school-bus-drivers-strike/#.UijT3vZrvM0.facebook

Sept 7 Article on letter from Attorney Norman Siegel to Chancellor Walcott with last year's complaint patterns: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/special-ed-parents-doe-fix-bus-fiasco-article-1.1448322

TV Oct. Office of Pupil Transportation inducted into the Hall of Shame http://www.myfoxny.com/category/233240/shame-shame-shame

TV Please follow the link here  http://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/  to see major news coverage of four bus families shown Weds 10/2/13  (title-- I-Team: School Bus Headaches, length-- 4:05) and follow up story shown Thurs 10/3/13, in which the investigator questions Chancellor Walcott; interviews Norman Siegel; and gets comments from mayoral candidates (title-- I-Team: DOE Responds to Students Being Trapped on School Buses, length-- 5:48)

Regarding the contract negotiations:

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/gonzalez-judge-decision-victory-bus-drivers-article-1.1444999

Cartoon by PIST supporter Tony M on the ruling that said cutting wages of school bus employees this past Spring was an unfair labor practice: 
http://www.uft.org/editorial-cartoons/wheels-bus
The editorial text is here http://www.uft.org/editorials/bus-worker-cuts-nixed

Summer 2013 campaign vs. hot buses

www.workers.org/articles/2013/08/15/pist-protests-bus-conditions/

http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/parents-protest-hot-school-buses/article_7e8c5f8e-a219-5c37-99e3-d801f95062b0.html

http://thefilam.net/archives/12223 Queens parents demand air-conditioned buses for special needs children 8/9/13

http://thefilam.net/archives/11991 Mother fights City Hall for air-conditioned buses for special-needs children 7/10/13

 

PIST gets a little mention here
http://www.workers.org/2013/07/30/nyc-communities-fight-for-transit-and-housing-rights/

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/school-bus-drivers-victims-mike-twisted-cost-cuts-article-1.1396852

SPRING 2013

Two pieces on the contract slashing that the bus companies are trying to impose
http://www.schoolbook.org/2013/03/21/school-bus-workers-facing-major-pay-cut/ http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-school-bus-operators-cut-workers-pay-benefits-article-1.1294501

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ending of the strike (see below for coverage of parent attitudes during the strike)

 http://capturingautism.com/2013/02/19/the-bus-strike-is-over

http://www.workers.org/2013/02/19/digamos-no-a-los-ataques-del-alcalde-bloomberg/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drdunk_greg/sets/72157632744309503/

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/177186/si-matron-with-disabled-son-says-strike-was-worth-it/

http://campusprogress.org/articles/with_strike_over_whats_next_for_nyc_school_bus_drivers/

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

LINKS TO SOME COVERAGE OF 2013 SCHOOL BUS STRIKE JAN. 14 TO FEB. 21

PIST Sara http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Parents-prepare-for-looming-bus-strike,51681

Jimmy from ATU, Sara from PIST on radio http://wbai.org/server-archive.html Select program Building Bridges and Date Jan 14, 2013, first 20 minutes

Parent blog http://capturingautism.com/2013/01/14/were-paying-school-bus-drivers-too-much-really/

Slide show of announcement of strike includes PIST and Common Sense Busing

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130115/new-york-city/school-bus-drivers-gearing-up-for-planned-strike/slideshow/popup/329109

http://www.eldiariony.com/No-anticipan-fin-huelga-buses-escolares-NYC-fotos#.UPdihLpFF2A.email

PIST Sara and others on radio on January 16 http://www.wbai.org/articles.php?headline=School%20bus%20drivers%20in%20New%20York%20are%20off%20the%20job%20-%20fighting%20to%20protect%20their%20livelihoods

Comments including PIST Susan’s http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/175544/the-call-blog--day-one-of-school-bus-strike/

PIST Sara http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2013/01/16/bus-drivers-strike-disrupts-school-system

SPANISH LANGUAGE TV 

Diana http://univisionnuevayork.univision.com/videos/video/2013-01-16/entrevista-madre-huelga-trabajo

“Other side of the coin:  What do the drivers want?” http://univisionnuevayork.univision.com/videos/video/2013-01-16/la-otra-cara-de-la

http://univisionnuevayork.univision.com/videos/video/2013-01-16/demandan-proteccion-de-trabajo?ftloc=prd%3Adigitalsmith%3Aupnext

2 ATU members http://univisionnuevayork.univision.com/noticias/aldespertar/video/2013-01-17/choferes-union-huelga-dudas-bloomberg

PIST Johnnie http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/nyc-school-bus-strike-second-day_n_2494529.html

ATU Henriot and CM Charles Barron http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/175566/union-members-rally-outside-brooklyn-bus-depot/

Coney island http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/175569/standoff-continues-through-school-bus-strike-s-second-day

PIST Susan http://www.thenation.com/blog/172222/nyc-bus-strike-kicks-fight-privatization-yellow-buses

Juan Gonzalez column http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/gonzalez-mayor-stop-blaming-bus-workers-article-1.1242198

PIST Milagros on TV http://univisionnuevayork.univision.com/videos/video/2013-01-18/tercer-dia-de-huelga-de

Parent article http://www.thenation.com/article/172288/good-matron-hard-find

PIST Kwame cartoon contest http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/kids-draw-the-news-bus-strike-comic-strip/

Drivers & Matrons are Parents Too video (8 min) http://youtu.be/RI0XoHUjzP4

The Chief coverage is getting better.  Links only let you read first two paragraphs:

http://thechiefleader.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-that-school-bus-strike/article_5bda798e-551f-11e2-8537-0019bb30f31a.html#.UPY2tCu-2Yk.email

http://thechiefleader.com/news/news_of_the_week/put-nyc-children-s-safety-first-on-buses/article_379fdc14-5e5f-11e2-b0cd-001a4bcf6878.html#.UPY5l_2eOg8.email                      

PIST press statement picked up http://www.workers.org/2013/01/17/nyc-school-bus-drivers-forced-to-strike-for-safety-security/

PIST Sharlene and JR on TV http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/news/local/Mother-of-4-Struggles-to-Get-Kids-to-School-During-Bus-Strike/187156541

Teacher speaks out on TV http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/School-Bus-Strike-New-York-Drivers-Union-Matrons-School-Students-187266821.html

Daily News finally something favorable http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hamill-bus-drivers-unjustly-targeted-bloomberg-article-1.1243365?pgno=1

Coverage of Feb. 10 Brooklyn Bridge march and rally

http://laborpress.org/sectors/municipal-labor/1885-parents-ride-shotgun-for-striking-bus-drivers?dm_i=1JEK,1A1G3,8G9WKA,4BZHE,1

http://www.workers.org/2013/02/12/tell-nyc-mayor-bloomberg-stop-bullying-our-families/

Coverage of CCSE parent letter charging violation of rights http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/city-adhere-federal-act-mandating-transportation-disabled-students-article-1.1263449?pmSlide=0

Impact on disabled students, United Cerebral Palsy

http://www.ucpnyc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=buIWJcNSKnL6G&b=6592393&ct=12939157&notoc=1

Bids http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/176903/city-moves-forward-with-review-of-school-bus-bids

End of strike http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/177104/school-bus-workers--union-votes-to-end-strike--drivers-to-return-to-work-wednesday

Parent article on exclusion of students with disabilities http://www.schoolbook.org/2013/02/21/bus-strike-took-huge-toll-on-special-needs-kids/

________________________________________________________________________________________________________


http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-real-issues-behind-looming-bus.htm

Blog from NYC Public School Parents featuring PIST statement also seen on this Home page.


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/special_ed_bus_kid_mix_en_route_gjavbRvbC4q6HTt0VYKQ6L?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local

Another issue we have with the new bid scheme.  Unfortunately some commenters have the issue for the opposite reason (fear of people with disabilities)


http://www.ny1.com/content/education/174482/officials-slam-plan-to-remove-seniority-provision-from-school-bus-drivers--contracts

Cable TV report on press conference responding to Mayor Bloomberg's 12/21 press statements & explaining how EPP = Safety


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/23/city-officials-blast-mayor-bloombergs-removal-of-employee-protection-provision-from-school-bus-contracts/

Radio report on press conference responding to Mayor Bloomberg's 12/21 press statements & explaining how EPP = Safety


http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/potential-school-bus-strike-threatens-poverty-quota-article-1.1226415

Regarding another way that busing is important for equal educational opportunity, and how city is blaming union for its own failure to come through with a bus plan


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/education/displaced-by-storm-students-face-long-trek-to-temporary-school-in-queens.html?_r=0

Link to article on some of the problems of temporary busing after Hurricane Sandy


http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121116/new-york-city/city-turns-coach-buses-shuttle-kids-from-schools-closed-by-sandy

Link to article on use of charter buses for schools dislocated by Hurricane Sandy.  Thanks Jill Colvin for the research and for including us.  See Home page blog for more on this issue.
 



http://www.ny1.com/content/education/172288/parents--bus-for-relocated-rockaways-students-delayed-in-return-home

Link to NY 1 piece on Nov. 13, 2012 first day of temporary busing


http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/10/parents_of_special-needs_children.php

Blog coverage of parent testimony at City Council Hearings


http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Parents-of-Special-Needs-Students-Frustrated-over-School-Bus-Problems-173583021.html

Video and article from 10/10/12 City Council Hearings


http://www.ny1.com/content/education/170519/city-council-discusses-bus-issues-with-doe

New York 1 article on Hearings with emphasis on contract issues


http://www.schoolbook.org/2012/10/09/school-bus-delays-come-under-council-review/

Only mainstream article in this set that mentions parents have busing organizations!  Disclaimer from Sara:  I can’t speak for my son but I am pretty sure he would not say he “suffers from” being exactly who he is.  This goes to show that we need more awareness even from people whose intentions are good.  By the way, after this article OPT added a route to 206.    


http://www.workers.org/2012/10/06/parents-protest-long-twisted-school-bus-routes/

Article by a PIST parent on the September 19 From Day One press conference


09/19/12 http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news%2Feducation&id=8816875

Education Reporter Art McFarland September 19 From Day One press conference, with PIST members and others


09/12/12  http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-09-12/news/33794965_1_bus-rides-angry-pols-autistic-boy


09/10/12  http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/autistic-boy-3-delirious-mom-angry-five-hour-school-bus-ride-home-manhattan-brooklyn-article-1.1155602?pgno=1

Early installment in a series instigated by our friend Crystal of New York City Parents Fed Up with Transportation Troubles!


08/23/12  http://statenisland.ny1.com/content/top_stories/167435/fight-over-staten-island-school-bus-service-goes-on

Gen Ed bussing was restored due to community pressure, but some schools were kept out by a grandfather clause


(please wait for update from archives for 2011-12 school year; the next several are from 2010-11)


Daily News - Parents of special-needs kids furious at bus rides without A/C; complain to NYC, get shortened rides

ATU - Local 1181 and PIST

UFT - Educators denounce layoff threat as scare tactic

Examiner.com - NYC Dept of Education: Pupil Transportation Breach of a Duty of Reasonable Care

NY1 - Special Needs Preschooler Left Alone On School Bus

PIST - January 22 Meeting Press Release

SI Live - Legal bid to restore school buses continues

NY1 - Brooklyn School Bus Crash Injures 10

Ellen Mc Hugh - CCSE Public Meeting with Matthew Berlin, Director of OPT

InsideSchools.org - The wheels on the bus go round and round and round . . .

El Diario - Piden mejorar rutas de transporte escolar

NY Post - Special-ed bus-service outrage

NY1 - Parents Rally For Improved School Bus Service

Daily News - 'Abusive' bus rides: Long trip for special ed kids

Daily News - Special needs kids plagued by late buses, forcing them to miss first class of day sometimes

Workers World - PIST demands end to long bus routes

Other News

NY1 - Questions Remain About MTA's Blizzard Preparedness

Telemundo - En vigencia nuevas tarifas de MTA

Able  New York - The Newspaper Positively for, by, and About the Disabled

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