In week 2 of the NYC Department of Education's busted school bus route changes, parents are still complaining and the media is loving it. There's 5 year old Michelle Baum in the Post today, waiting outside in the freezing weather for her bus. And the hotline the DOE has been directing parents to seems to be just as bad: In yesterday's Daily News, there was 11 year old Eleanor Shanahan whose family was told a bus would return to take her to school earlier, versus dropping her off 45 minutes late - only for her dad to find out from the school bus hotline that she would be "unrouted."
And, our favorite so far, is in the NY Times today: 9 year old Shira D'Costa was taking a bus from her school East 81st to her designated bus stop on East 93rd Street, but the trip takes 2 hours because the bus travels through Roosevelt Island (her parents have resorted to other ways of getting her home); her father said, "As parents with two young kids in New York City, we don’t have time to call up every morning to complain about the bus service.”
Mayor Bloomberg sort of apologized, but still kept up his support for the DOE and Schools Chancellor Klein and emphasized the millions the DOE would save. State Senator Ruben Diaz of the Bronx told Mayor Bloomberg he was "very disappointed" in the Mayor's school bus attitude and the Empire Zone had a funny exchange:
“I loved you,” Mr. Diaz told him. “I supported you.” [Diaz was "one of the only Democratic officials to endorse Mr. Bloomberg when he first ran for mayor, in 2001."]
“Senator, I loved you and I was disappointed — I was disappointed that the second time I ran, you weren’t there,” Mr. Bloomberg replied.
Snap! Still, Bloomberg's behavior is pretty alienating. It's very reminiscent of his reaction to the Queens blackout, you know, when he said that the situation sucked but Con Ed was doing everything it could - only for report after report to fault Con Ed.
The Daily News' Michael Daly recommended that the highly paid consultants that devised this school bus reorganization be given Metrocards instead of their limousine allowance.
Photograph a child waiting for the bus last year by Fallon Roxann on Flickr