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NYC taxpayers tapped for $20M in costs over union strike

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New York City taxpayers spent an estimated $20.6 million to get tens of thousands of stranded students to school, during a monthlong strike by the bus workers' union that began Jan. 16 and ended Friday.

Disabled students who required special transportation needs were especially hurt by the strikers, according to a report in The Associated Press.

The money went to buy the students transit cards and taxis, and for reimbursements for gas and mileage traveled in personal vehicles, according to the AP. Even with the taxpayer-funded travel alternatives, some students never made it to school at all, according to Chancellor Dennis Walcott, in the AP report.

Workers with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 will resume regular bus routes on Wednesday, AP reports. Union members were striking over contract disputes and job protections related to the school district's 7,700 but routes — the largest in the nation, according to AP.

The union ended the strike absent its desired concessions, opting instead — in the face of rising parental angst and ire, and the prospect of a long-term public relations nightmare — to live to "fight another day," according to one union spokesperson, quoted by various media last week.

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