Pasadena Unified Parents, Students Left Without Bus Service for Unknown Length of Time as Drivers Strike

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Story by DAVID CROSS, Newsdesk editor | Video and Photography by BRANDON VILLALOVOS

11:04 am | January 18, 2018


Both Pasadena Unified School District administrators and First Student, Inc. officials are advising Pasadena Unified parents to make other arrangements to get their children to school until a bus driver strike which began Thursday morning can be settled.

There is, however, no word from either First Student or Teamsters 572 as to when the bus drivers who operate buses serving Pasadena Unified might return to work.

Pasadena Unified contracts the busing services through First Student, Inc., wich hires drivers and negotiates with the union, a school spokesperson indicated.

Hilda Ramirez Horvath, Manager of Communications for the Pasadena Unified School District, said in an email statement “The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) contracts with First Student, Inc. to provide daily transportation services for 1,200 PUSD students. The strike by First Student drivers has severely impacted transportation services for PUSD students, including planned school field trips.”

Pasadena Now contacted First Student headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“We appreciate that this morning has been a challenge for everyone who relies on the service, specifically the transportation,” said Jay Brock, Public Relations Representative with First Student. “It was a little abrupt this morning that we have drivers showing up for work and it appears as though they weren’t aware that any strike was taking place.”

“Unfortunately at this particular time we would encourage those parents to look for some alternative transportation,” Brock said.

Ramirez went on to say, “We urge First Student, Inc. to resolve this matter quickly and immediately resume transportation services for PUSD students. As customers of First Student, Inc., our students are being affected.”

Although some routes are still operational because a small number of drivers continued to work, Brock said that it is essentially all of the bus drivers serving Pasadena Unified who are on strike.

It is unknown at this time when full bus service will be restored.