As 10-year-old Rohan Rao looks forward to the start of a new school year this coming Thursday, his mother Anita Rao is temporarily feeling relief.
“I’m really hoping a strike will be avoided,” the Upper West Side resident said.
Rao and thousands of other parents who rely on school buses now have a few more days to devise a contingency plan after the Amalgamated Transit Union announced Friday that a possible bus strike would not take place this coming Thursday or Friday during the first two days of the new school year.
What You Need To Know
- The Amalgamated Transit Union announced Friday that a possible bus strike would not take place this coming Thursday or Friday during the first two days of the new school year
- Anita Rao, a parent from the Upper West Side, says she had a contingency plan in place for her son, who has special needs
- There is no word yet on the status of a possible strike beyond next weekend
“I had been nervous about the strike regardless,” Rao said. “The reason why is my son takes the school bus for special needs, so he is not able to handle the subway ride. It’s a sensory overload.”
Rao says if a strike had occurred on Thursday, she would have paid for her son to travel to his new middle school by a ride share service, saying the crowded nature of a subway or MTA bus would have likely affected his ability to focus on learning once he got to class.
“It affects his state of mind and state of being in the classroom, and it’s all about making sure he has a teachable brain,” she said.
The ATU is currently in negotiations with several private companies — and one nonprofit owned by the city — that provide bus service to public school students.
While Rao hopes parents and students across the five boroughs will be spared the burden and inconveniences of a strike, she ultimately hopes the matrons and drivers who she respects so much, will secure a fair deal.
“It takes a lot for them to show up at 6 a.m. at our doorsteps. I have so much gratitude. I really hope it works out,” she said.
At this time, the status of a possible bus strike is not clear beyond next weekend.