School bus company to shut down; NYC seeks alternative - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

School bus company to shut down; NYC seeks alternative

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

While most parents should be relaxing during the Christmas break, many in New York City are now going to have to try and figure out how to get their kids to school.

A memo from the Department of Education explains that Atlantic Bus Company filed for bankruptcy in November and will no longer be in operation as of December 31.

That means the parents of about 40,000 public school students, particularly those with special needs, such as Carin Van Der Donk's 13-year-old son, will be scrambling to find other ways to get their kids to school.

Many parents are just hearing the news about the huge change.

Atlantic Bus Company hasn't made a comment, but its union -- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 -- blamed the problem on the same issue that led to last winter's bus strike.

The union's president Michael Cordiello said this: "Once again we are seeing the turmoil caused by the strike that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott's set in motion earlier this year by removing Employee Protection Provisions (EPPs) from Special Education contracts."

Whatever the case, Van Der Donk had this advice: "Everybody get their act together please so the kids can go to school."

Many of those students who will be impacted are those with special needs and with disabilities. Meanwhile the city said it is working on contingency plans, such as giving out special MetroCards to students and finding another bus company.

"We have a plan in place to get every student to school on January 2nd and information is going home to families," Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement. "My team and I have been in daily communication with the Mayor-elect's transition team on the issue."

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