Parents breathe a sigh of relief as New York City school bus drivers return to work on Wednesday

Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-16 19:49:48-05

COLLEGE POINT, QUEENS (PIX11)- The Zazzarino family of Bayside is celebrating at Coppola restaurant, celebrating the end of the five week old city school bus strike because that means 13-year-old Johncarlo doesn’t have to be in charge of his two little brothers after school;

“Since my mom is a working mom, I had to pick my brothers up after school,” Johncarlo Zazzarino told PIX11. “Through the snow, I had to take them to their after-school programs.

“I am happy the union workers are back,” his father, John Zazzarino added.

Some see the end of the first bus driver strike in 34 years as a victory for Mayor Bloomberg. He refused to give in to demands for job security and instead wanted new, less expensive contracts. But the head of the amalgamated transit union said he was encouraged by a letter from several mayoral candidates who promise to reconsider the job security issue if elected.

“The mayoral candidates promised address the job security question,” Zazzarino said. “That’s very important. You don’t want inexperienced drivers driving our kids to school and home.

Other Queens families were also so glad the strike is over. Even though students were given free metrocards and parents were reimbursed for gas and taxes, the strike was a real hardship for so many, with many students arriving late to school or missing school and parents losing money from missed days of work as well.

“It might be a little bit of a rough start,” Edward Westervelt of College Point said. “Things will get back to normal relatively quickly.”