End Of Bus Strike Welcome News For Drivers, Students In Brooklyn
When students got out of school in Brooklyn Wednesday, school bus drivers were there to greet them. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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School buses were lined up in front of Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 Wednesday afternoon, and drivers were glad to sit and wait for kids to be dismissed.
"Yeah, I'm happy to be back over here," said Tony Aleynikov, a bus driver. "It's so nice. I miss my kids. I miss my job."
Getting on his bus was sixth grader Leah Ross, who's had to find other ways of getting to and from school over the last month.
"I'm very happy," she said. "No more wondering what to do or how to get home."
NY1 followed Leah on the first day of the bus strike as she decided to take the train to get to school. Her mom went with her because it was the first time Leah took the subway to get there.
They rode to Stillwell Avenue, the last stop on the D train, and then had to walk about a dozen blocks, past picket lines, to get to Mark Twain.
That was the first and last time she did that.
"That was the one and only day, because you have to walk a lot from the subway station to here, so it's very tiring," she said. "Plus, it's really cold outside."
Leah instead relied on carpooling and the city bus.
While Leah was inconvenienced, her veteran bus driver said he had an even tougher time these last four weeks.
"Always hard to be out of job, out of money, especially if you're working for 20 years and you're used to do it every day," Aleynikov said. "We did what we had to do."
While both are relieved to be back on the school bus, parent Miri Raz said they were running behind schedule.
"We're so glad the bus is here, but they came today too late," Raz said.
Drivers told parents not to worry. They said they'll get back to their usual routine now that they're back on their regular route.