BOSTON All Boston Public Schools bus routes will be covered on normal schedules Tuesday afternoon for 3,500 students who need rides home from charter schools and special ed programs.
Several hundred students were stranded at bus stops Monday and routes were delayed Tuesday morning amid ongoing contract negotiations between the bus drivers’ union and the company that employs them.
“We are focused on ensuring students and parents can rely on school bus service [Tuesday] and [Wednesday],” interim superintendent John McDonough said in a statement. “We are still assessing the situation for [Wednesday].”
After about a dozen bus routes were left unstaffed Monday morning, leaving 400 students stranded, the school department had to scramble to ensure even more routes scheduled to run Tuesday morning were covered.
The school department reported early Tuesday that only 120 of 150 routes were staffed. By 8:20 a.m., officials say all routes were staffed but some were running late. (Check the status of a BPS bus route here.)
The city’s school bus contractor said it was working with the union to ensure all routes are consistently staffed.
Officials told parents to prepare alternate transportation arrangements just in case. The MBTA also agreed to provide free service for students.
Classes are in session Tuesday for a total of 32 charter schools and special education programs in Boston.
BPS spokesman Lee McGuire says he hopes the issues will be worked out before all Boston students start school next week.
“The drivers union continues to say everyone will work, you have no reason to worry, and yet here we are for the second day where we’re still concerned about the number of drivers showing up,” McGuire told WBUR.
The uncertainty is an extension of a labor dispute that led to a wildcat strike last October that stranded thousands of children.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom