By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — Though Boston Public Schools will begin the year remotely, a fleet of school busses sits parked and ready to go at the city’s three bus yards. “We have to be able to be protected,” said Andre Francois, president of the School Bus Drivers Union.

He represents more than 900 drivers who will have to navigate the roads during the coronavirus pandemic.

Transdev, the private contractor who oversees the city’s bus yards, told Francois that two maintenance workers at the Readville bus yard had been diagnosed with coronavirus within the last two weeks.

“They didn’t do any shutdown, any disinfecting, didn’t do any cleaning of the garage,” Francois said.

Now he’s deeply concerned about more cases popping up before kids occupy the seats so he is asking Transdev to consider a new emergency operating procedure.

“We demand they have handwashing stations, touchless everything to make sure we don’t get the COVID– disinfect the buses and facilities,” he said.

According to Francois, four school bus drivers died from COVID-19 back in April and May and dozens of others got sick.

“We told them we are not going to have one more death. They ignored the whole thing. No quarantining. They did not shut down the bus yard,” Francois said.

The union is demanding more safety measures be put in place, like testing sites at school bus yards, partitions around the bus drivers, and to shut down the yard if any new cases get reported.

Paul Burton

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