NEW YORK (PIX11) — The first week back in city schools will have a sense of normalcy and worry for some parents in New York City.
“I think that’s a shame, this late in the game to try to figure out how to get your kids to school,” said parent Nola Gaston.
The New York City Department of Education previously said a plan has been put in place to issue MetroCards and car service reimbursements for eligible students, but it said there are no new updates on how negotiations are going with the Amalgamated Transit Union.
The union stated drivers need a new contract and higher wages.
“[We will] remain at the table to fight for what our members deserve – a fair contract,” the local chief of staff told PIX11 News. “For now, routes will be serviced, and negotiations are ongoing, but time is running out.”
MTA officials said they are ready to meet the challenge.
Public transportation service has been 100% restored to its previous levels, but ridership is at 80%, leaving enough space for additional students.
“We’ve got room on both the buses and the trains. We are running the best subway service in 10 years,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
MTA officials said for parents of children with mobility issues, the buses are 100% accessible and many train stations are too. Adding to that, many children with special needs have already been designated to receive access to a ride service to and from school.
However, some are not so sure that the backup plan will work for the close to 150,000 students and their families who will be impacted if the strike happens.
“It’ll definitely be stressful to have to wake up earlier, worry about traffic more, bus, cab. It will be definitely stressful,” said Myasha Gonzalez, a New York City parent.