The Nightmare World of New York's School Bus Strike


Don't let the bus door hit you on the way out

You may have heard that there is a school bus strike in New York City, affecting 150,000+ children. What you might not have realized is how absolutely nightmarish the existing city contract with its kiddie-haulers is. New York Post columnist John Podhoretz sketches out a just hellish vision of city services gone horrible:

These workers aren't city employees. They work for private companies. The city's contracts with those companies are up in June. The city plans to bid out the work.

It has to. You want it to. Trust me: Under the terms of the current contracts, providing this bus service costs — I hope you're sitting down before you read this next clause — $7,000 a year per passenger. […]

All in all, the city spends — again, are you sitting down? — $1.1 billion on school busing. […]

[The 1979 contract] effectively ensured lifetime employment for unionized drivers no matter what private company they worked for. Contracts with the companies were renewed without competitive bidding. […]

The then-head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 pleaded guilty to charges of bribery in 2006; he was a member of the Genovese crime family. Four city workers whose task it was to ensure safety for handicapped riders were sent to jail in 2009 for soliciting and receiving bribes in the tens of thousands of dollars — from bus operators looking for lucrative routes.

In other words, everybody in the system was profiting from the colossal streams of cash guaranteed by the 1979 deal.

That deal, as Podhoretz points out, was thrown together as the result of…a long strike. Here's hoping the city doesn't cave.

NEXT: 'The Laws of an Alien Civilization'

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  1. providing this bus service costs … $7,000 a year per passenger.

    Yet another reason not to live in New York.

    1. With a 180 days in the school year and 2 trips per day, that works out to just over $19.44 per ride. In comparison, a single ride ticket for a MTA bus is $2.50. That’s a nice little scam they’ve got going.

      1. At 20 bucks a ride, you could have a personal fucking driver take your kids to school daily.

      2. Yeah, but that $2.50 MTA fare ignores the fact the subsidies the MTA gets to cover the actual cost of a ride.

        That said, if your point is “why doesn’t the New York City school system simply issue transit passes to students to use public transportation” then I am in complete agreement.

        The last time I was in NYC was 1965 and even then the transit system covered nearly everything except Staten Island and some outlying areas of Queens.

        1. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I remember in the eighties when the fare was around one dollar, one study showed that the actual cost of a MTA ride was around nine dollars.

  2. The union is running an ad on local radio claiming that non-union drivers are inexperienced and will cause bus crashes, killing your kids. So if you want your your kids to come home from school alive, support the bus driver’s union demands.

    1. Sad to say that there are probably people that believe them.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure plenty of idiots hearing that commercial are convinced their precious snowflakes will be in danger if they don’t renew the union’s contract.

  3. The then-head of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 pleaded guilty to charges of bribery in 2006; he was a member of the Genovese crime family.

    Oh, come on, the unions in the NYC/North Jersey area aren’t really controlled by the mob!

    1. What is this, Napoli?

    2. And also politicians would never do business with the mob.

      1. Well, the politicians really are more like a division of the mob.

      2. And also politicians would never do business with the mob.

        This is sarcasm, right?

        1. And WTF’s wasn’t?

          It’s sarcasm, all the way down.

    3. These school unions give mobsters a bad name.

  4. $7000 per passenger? How much does a city bus or subway pass cost per year?

    How anyone who is not a union member doesn’t hate unions at this point is a mystery.

    1. The mob doesn’t have shit on unions.

  5. Once you invent a “right” to an “education” there are no limits to expenditures. Since socialist schools do not educate people, few know about Bastiat. Either you favor the government spending ANY amount of money for “education” (which of course must include meals, and medical care and counseling and transportation) or you are opposed to knowledge itself.

    Socialist schools are a pustule of evil that must be removed in order for our society to heal survive.

    1. I consider dismantling compulsory public education to be priority #1, ahead of ending the fed.

      1. I go back and forth on it. I have no problem (personally) paying tax money to not live in a society full of morons, even though I don’t have nor will I ever have children.

        Unfortunately, I pay tax money and still live in a world where I’m surrounded by fucking morons.

        1. I have no problem (personally) paying tax money to not live in a society full of morons

          Well, you’re not getting your money’s worth, because we do live in a society full of morons.

          1. You didn’t read the second sentence.

          2. I should also clarify that by no means do I consider the state to be the best arbiter of education.

      2. I tend to this view as well.

        And to those who say “if you don’t have compulsory public education then children will end up ignorant and illiterate,” I reply, “They are already ending up that way.”

        The fact is that the ignorant and illiterate are capable of earning a living and paying their own way. The “schooled” but uneducated masses we turn out now are not.

  6. $7,000 a year per passenger inmate

  7. Hey c’mon, those Mafia lifestyles don’t just fund themselves, you know.

  8. Holy fucking fuck, I’d only be able to work a year before I died of a cocaine overdose at 7 grand a kid.

  9. New York had it first school bus strike after 34 years. Called by Mayor Bloomberg, the strike has left disabled children without transport causing their activity to come to a complete standstill. Subways do not offer access to elevators and taxis do not provide adequate storage space for wheelchairs, whereas the school bus service accommodated disabled childrens’ special requirements.

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