How to Get Your Kids To School During the Bus Strike

By Jess Wisloski on January 14, 2013 4:55pm 

NEW YORK CITY — With school bus drivers striking Wednesday morning, city officials have outlined a plan to help parents get their kids to school.

♦ Schools' general offices will issue free MetroCards to students who normally take yellow bus service. Inquire at the main office of your school to obtain one.

♦ Parents of K-2 students and of children who normally receive transportation directly from home to school may be issued additional MetroCards so they can escort their child all the way to school.

Those MetroCards are supposed to start working on subways Wednesday morning, but won't work on all city buses until Thursday, the Department of Education warned.

Parents whose MetroCards don't work are advised to return them to their child's school to be replaced. Parents will be able to apply for reimbursements for bus or subway fare until  the cards are working.

♦ Parents of children grades K-6 for whom public transportation is not an option will be reimbursed for travel costs to school.

♦ Parents driving students in their own cars will be reimbursed .55 cents per mile.

♦ Taxi and car service costs incurred over the course of the strike will also be reimbursed. Parents will have to fill out weekly reimbursement forms that will be available on the DOE website and at schools' general offices.

♦ Parents are being encouraged to coordinate with neighbors and classmates whenever possible.

♦ Latecomers to school because of the bus strike will be excused up to 2 hours, and all absences due to the strike will be marked absent, but with a special code so the attendance record is not impacted.

♦ Afterschool programs will stay open, but no yellow bus service will be provided.

♦ Extra NYPD Transit officers and School Safety crossing guards have be brought on to help manage the anticipated increase in the number of students using public transportation and walking to school.

♦ The NYPD will add transit officers and crossing guards to help manage the anticipated increase in the number students using public transportation and walking to school.

♦ The Taxi and Limousine Commission has issued an alert to all taxi and livery licensees, warning them to expect increased demand and have the maximum number of cars available. 

♦ The DOE will be posting materials online for every grade and core subject so that students who can't get to school can continue to learn at home during the strike.

The city says parents can check www.schools.nyc.gov or call 311 for updates.

To find out whether your child's route has been affected, click here.

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