Early Tuesday morning a non-union school bus crashed into a car, leaving 14 people injured, including 11 children. The accident took place around 8:10AM at the corner of Myrtle and Wilson. All injuries aboard the school bus were minor, but the driver of the car is in serious but stable condition. The crash ignited tensions about the professionalism of non-union buses, as many school buses have been still on strike for over a month.
The city school buses strike, due to a dispute with the Department of Education (DOE), began on January 16th and has been huge inconvenience for parents and children citywide. The strike effects transport of 152,000 students, including 54,000 with disabilities. Parents have expressed their frustration with the strike, but no bid has been settled upon yet. Thus, parents have turned to non-union busses for their transportation needs. But is this unreliable and even dangerous? Many seem to think so.
Metro US reports that “this accident shows the danger posed to children being driven by non-union bus drivers.” One parent, Sara Catalinotto, reported concerns over the incident, saying that she “would not put [her] child on a bus with crew that is not vetted or screened or certified like the people who are now mostly on strike.” Hopefully a settlement will be made and certified school buses will be up and running before too long.
This crash comes on the heels of a New Years Eve accident which happened less than a mile away, also on Myrtle Ave. The pedestrian was struck by a bus and was in severe condition until she was taken off of life support and passed away yesterday.