The Department of Education announced Monday it received 67 bids from bus companies hoping to win contracts to transport city school kids, as three bus companies filed a new lawsuit against the city and the related bus employees' strike continues.
Monday was the bidding deadline on new bus driver contracts.
The companies suing the city claim in a lawsuit that because bids for new contracts do not include Employee Protection Provisions, it is illegal for the city to continue working from ongoing contracts that keep the protections.
Bus drivers and matrons belonging to Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 have been on strike since January 16 to ensure that all new contracts include EPPs, to safeguard the jobs of senior drivers.
The ongoing contracts expire in 2015, and are not part of the current bidding process.
ATU members marched on the Brooklyn Bridge and rallied at City Hall on Sunday to call on the city to continue to offer EPPs in contracts.
City officials say court rulings have determined the protections that union wants are illegal.
DOE officials said Monday that by Friday they had spent $19.2 million to give parents and students MetroCards and to reimburse families who are driving students to school or paid for taxi or livery cabs.
They also estimated that busing children under the same period of time would have cost $64.8 million, or more than three times as much.