M.T.A. on school bus strike: no problems yet

School buses in Coney Island. (Carmine Savarese via Flickr)
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Today, school bus drivers initiated their first strike in decades, leaving more than 100,000 schoolchildren without their usual means of getting to school.

So far, the M.T.A. is reporting no problems accommodating students (and parents) who are taking public transportation instead.

"They’re treating this like any other event that could potentially create unusual demand, but so far we haven’t heard of any problems," said Adam Lisberg, an M.T.A. spokesman.

What would be a comparable event?

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"Big parade? Big concert? Major traffic disruption?" he responded in an email. "Beautiful summer Sunday where everyone goes to the beach?"

The city has been distributing MetroCards to families to make up for the lost bus service, a situation that could drag on for a while. The last bus strike, in 1979, lasted 13 weeks.

The transportation authority has teams on the ground monitoring the situation, but isn't currently running extra buses along any routes.

On regular schooldays, students account for approximately 15 percent of bus ridership in New York City.