New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

STATEMENT: Children with Special Needs Stranded on School Bus After Midnight

Yellow Bus

Early this morning in response to my request, the Mayor’s office dispatched emergency services to rescue children with special needs from a yellow bus trip that would never end.

These children left their school in Manhattan shortly after 2PM and didn’t make it home in the Bronx until well after midnight the following day, more than 10 hours later. Five children had to spend more than 10 hours without a bathroom, 10 hours without a meal, 10 hours stuck on a bus.

The bus driver did his best to be responsive, but was set up for failure by the Department of Education forcing him to drive a bus route with 22 children spanning multiple boroughs, regularly taking 3 hours to get home, a direct violation of one child's doctor’s orders according to a parent.

I am deeply grateful for intervention by Mayor de Blasio’s office who dispatched emergency services and finally reunited children with their parents.

We should not need emergency services to rescue our children from school buses. Parents should not spend hours panicking without knowing where their children are. We should not have to scramble to find out where a school bus is, at the mercy of whether a driver gives parents their personal mobile phone number. We must pass Int. 1099 of 2018 to require GPS on every school bus, so parents know where their kids are.

When buses get stranded, we as a city should take proactive steps to get kids home at the first sign of delay, not wait several hours or into the next day.

Get involved to make your voice heard.

Get monthly updates with the information you need to make a difference.