NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -Many New York City parents sending their kids back to school on Tuesday had to scramble to find another ride.
Dozens of school buses wouldn’t start in the extreme cold.
Some parents said they waited in the cold for up to an hour, some took cabs, others took public transit, but what’s most frustrating is they couldn’t find out what took the buses so long.
The bus dropped the kids off at home in Sunnyside Tuesday afternoon, but this morning the cold snap welcomed them back from vacation.
“My legs were really cold, and I was just shivering a lot,” Elisa Tortajada said.
They waited outside for 30 minutes.
“The first day back at school. Kids didn’t want to wake up anyway, and no bus,” Anne Price added.
Nadine Graham took a cab with her 7-year-old after freezing at the bus stop.
“We were there at 7:40, 7:50, 8 o’clock, 8:10, at that point some of the other parents started to leave,” she said.
The bus drivers’ union leader Patrick Jean-Paul said the Queens lot for the pioneer bus company had some 30 buses that wouldn’t start.
“It’s been there at least a week-and-a-half, the temperature drops, so it’s diesel, they didn’t work, a lot of buses didn’t start,” he said.
He said mechanics started engines on Friday, but the three day New Year’s weekend was so cold it didn’t help. They had to let dozens of schools know they’d be late, including Our Lady of Fatima.
“They should have had them running a day or two earlier, especially in this freezing cold,” Our Lady of Fatima, Kathy Palmer said.
Parents said they were never notified.
“It was just a miserable experience,” Graham said.
They say weather is no excuse.
“Well no, I mean you know it’s cold, it’s not like a sudden cold front,” Graham said.
Pioneer Bus Company said they only had minimal delays.
CBS2 reached out to the Department of Education who said they are looking into why so many students were left out in the cold with no warning.