Most of Boston’s 33,000 public and private school students scrambled to find alternative transportation on Tuesday as the area’s school bus drivers walked off the job, Reuters reports.
The drivers, represented by the United Steelworkers of America Local 8751, didn’t report for work on Tuesday, a statement on the Boston Public Schools system website said. “Today’s unauthorized protest appears to be connected to the Union’s ongoing opposition to changes that ensure driver safety and suitability, steps to improve on-time performance, and the new web tool that allows families to track the location of their child’s school bus in real time,” the statement says. “At this time the protest involves approximately 600 drivers who are refusing to operate school buses today. This means most of the 33,000 students who ride school buses will be impacted.”
The city of Boston has called the action “illegal” and Mayor Tom Menino told reporters he was weighing how to intervene in the situation. As a temporary solution, Boston has opened its public transportation to students for free rides with a school ID.