New York City is spending nearly $6 million a day during the coronavirus crisis for idled school buses, The Post has learned.
Under contracts with school-bus companies, the nation’s largest school system is obligated to pay 85% of the daily fees when schools are shut for snow or other emergencies, if the days are not made up later.
That comes to roughly $5.9 million a day for buses parked in lots while students learn from home. Normally, the city Department of Education spends close to $6.9 million a day to transport kids to public and private schools during the 180-day school year.
The DOE plans to keep paying the 85% of fees for mothballed buses, but seek other uses for them.
“This is an ever-changing situation and we intend to honor our contracts and continue to support the bus workforce while exploring ways to utilize these vehicles to serve the city during a crisis,” DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson said in an email.
Yet three weeks after schools were closed — March 13 was the last day of classes — nothing has been done with the buses.
The cost is steadily rising. Schools are closed until at least April 20, but the city has cautioned that buildings might not reopen until the start of the next school year.
City officials budgeted $1.25 billion for school buses in the current school year, the city’s Independent Budget Office reports.
Schools are closed until at least April 20, but the city has cautioned that buildings might not reopen until the start of the next school year.