NYC school bus drivers to face tougher background checks following complaints

NEW YORK — NYC school bus drivers will face more thorough background checks, Department of Education officials said Thursday after it was revealed tens of thousands of complaints have been made since the start of the school year.

Some 82,000 complaints have been made since the start of the school year, according to education department data.

After the complaints were revealed, the department said it will change the way drivers are vetted.

“We’re overhauling our bus driver vetting and investigative processes, so that our drivers are subject to the same rigorous processes as all DOE employees," department spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said Thursday afternoon.

Drivers will face the same fingerprinting and background check process as other education department employees, according to Barbot.

Vetting will also now be handled by the department's Division of Human Capital, and its Office of Special Investigations will investigate misconduct allegations.

The changes come after retired NYPD Det. Eric Reynolds told the New York Post his signature was falsely used to approve more than 100 people as school bus drivers. Reynolds once screened candidates.