In Support of Bus Drivers and Matrons Save Our Schools Submits


December 31, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm:

We are parents and grandparents of children who ride specialized transportation to and from school. They depend on this service for access to appropriate education; their safety depends on the qualifications of the vendors and how they allocate their budgets toward hiring, training, vehicles, equipment, maintenance, and so forth.

We are also known advocates and resources for school bus families across the city. We believe this makes us Parties of Interest to contracts between vendors and City agencies i.e. NYCDOE.

We are writing to request that the Pre-Bid Conference that is thus far scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Thursday January 3, 2013 at 30-30 Thomson Avenue (Queens) be rescheduled for a weekday mid-morning or for a Saturday, so that a representative delegation of parents who have children on the bus for a full- or half-day program may make plans to attend, observe and learn the names of the prospective bus companies.

On Friday December 21, a press conference was held and a letter sent home with our children describing the painful repercussions that these bids could have. Yet our only knowledge of the January 3 Conference came from searching the website. Furthermore, for parents who have to meet the bus at some time after 3:00, the worst time of day to begin a task or appointment is 1:00—unless home is very close to the site, or unless a reliable and affordable childcare option can be arranged for that date.

Since you have neglected to publicize this Pre-Bid Conference to parents, and have excluded us in a de facto way by the timing, your only chance to show that you are not disenfranchising us on purpose is to reschedule and to post this information at least one week in advance, as widely as you posted the statement on the “possible disruption in yellow bus service” which these very bids could provoke.

Margaret DePaula, Johnnie Stevens, Sara Catalinotto, Sharlene Figueroa for Parents to Improve School Transportation (

Michael Reilly, Recording Secretary, Community Education Council 31
Crystal Alfano, New York City Parents Fed Up with Transportation Troubles
Carin Vanderdonk, Common Sense Busing
Susan and Michael Morelli
Eli Ganias and Margaret Carino-Ganias
Kwame Stevens, 5th grader, PIST cartoonist
Rosa Maria de la Torre, Chelsea Coalition on Housing
Norm Scott, Education activist
Fatima Prioleau
Ellen McHugh
John Dennie, Community-Labor United for Postal Jobs & Services
Larry Littman, Chelsea for Peace*
Mary Rogers
Sarah Shapiro
Mike Eilenfeldt, Delegate to NYC Central Labor Council for the Union at Cooper Union NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO*
Vanessa Ticona and Christopher Scalzo
Lisa Shaw
Cheryl Ocampo, Founder and Executive Director, Queens County Parents Autism Coalition*
Madeline Sinor
Susan Valdes-Dapena, Board member, Child School*, Roosevelt Island
Local 1180 Communications Workers of America
Maria Riggs, Student Advocate/Ombuds Officer, LaGuardia Community College*

*Organization listed for identification purposes only