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Boston Public Schools Can’t Guarantee Bus Service Tuesday Morning

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School buses parked at the Freeport Street lot in Dorchester. (Photo by Scott Eck - WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

School buses parked at the Freeport Street lot in Dorchester. (Photo by Scott Eck – WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston is once again dealing with school bus problems. Hundreds of charter school students were stranded Monday morning on the first day of school.

Some workers did not show up because of an ongoing dispute with the bus drivers union.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent John McDonough says 175 bus drivers are needed Tuesday morning, but only about 110 have agreed to work.

“Families should prepare alternate arrangements to bring students to and from school Tuesday if necessary,” McDonough said in a statement Monday night. “This ongoing uncertainty is unacceptable to us and is unacceptable to our students and families, who count on having a reliable ride to school.”

Last year, the school bus company staged a surprise strike. McDonough says the city’s bus contractor, Veolia Transportation, indicated it is working with the union to encourage the drivers to report Tuesday.

“They have some concerns over the four individuals who were let go last year,” Mayor Marty Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio. “There’s a hearing on them and they’re moving through the process but that’s no reason not to pick kids up on the corner of the streets and that’s no reason to have the threat of a looming strike over our head.”

The MBTA will be free for students on Tuesday.

There are 32 schools open in Boston on Tuesday: two BPS in-district charter schools, one Level 5 school, 15 Commonwealth Charter schools and 14 special education programs.

Families can check the status of their school bus online at http://schoolbus.bostonpublicschools.org or by calling the Transportation Hotline at (617) 635-9520.

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