NYC pays Ubers and Lyfts for thousands of students as school bus drivers go on strike

New York City plans to pay Ubers, Lyfts and MetroCards to get tens of thousands of students to school if it fails to reach an agreement with the yellow bus drivers’ union, officials said Monday.

Big Apple Schools Chancellor David Banks outlined the costly replacement plan, which includes the cost of thousands of ridesharing services for disabled students and immigrant children — and their parents — to and from school during drop-off and pick-up times.

Still, he said he remains “hopeful” that an agreement can be reached with Amalgamated Transit Union Chapter 1181 before the first day of school on Sept. 7.

“We are pushing for a solution before the start of the school year. In the meantime, we are w“We are working hard to plan and make families aware of any alternative transport services we will provide in the event of a strike.” Banks said in a statement.

A city school bus drivers’ strike would be the first in a decade and would affect more than 80,000 students on 4,400 routes across the five boroughs.

Should drivers go on strike, the city’s Department of Education announced it would give every family the option to obtain emergency MetroCards, which provide four trips with transfers — for a student and a guardian — between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m are on weekdays at 10:00 a.m. The schools are responsible for the distribution of the cards.

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 voted earlier this summer to go on strike if a deal couldn’t be reached.
Getty Images

families who have a student with a disability, which accounts for approximately 25,000 of the student population, Eligible for refunds of up to $200 per day when they take taxis, ridesharing, or use their own cars to take students to school.

The reimbursement rate is 58 cents per mile.

The DOE will also prepay for rides to bring some of these students to and from school with their parents. Parents can then use these rides to commute to work and back to school to pick up their children in the evening.

A school bus
A school bus strike in the city would affect more than 80,000 students, 25,000 of whom have a disability.
Getty Images

students in temporary housing, including for migrants, or in foster families According to the DOE’s website, they are entitled to ridesharing.

“Working families across New York City shouldn’t and don’t have to worry about taking their kids to school every day,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “This administration is here to ensure that our children can continue their education without interruption.”

The city says it’s also exploring other options a little over a week before the start of the new year.

Local 1181, which voted earlier this summer to strike if no deal is reached, declined to comment on The Post on Monday.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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