Parents and bus drivers protested the shutdown of Atlantic Express, a longstanding school bus company.
The 2,000 bus drivers and matrons who don't want to lose their jobs and the parents who don't want to lose the drivers they trust stood together outside the Tweed Courthouse on Tuesday.
Atlantic Express has operated buses in Manhattan for more than 40 years, but was unable to reach an agreement with unionized drivers this month after filing for bankruptcy in November.
"We've been hearing a lot about income inequality and poverty. Well some school bus drivers are the face of poverty in this city,” said incoming Public Advocate Letita James.
"Bottom line is experienced drivers and matrons will provide the best service for their children and they know that. And it's about safety for the children,” said Michael Cordiello, president of Transit Union 1181.
"And now that Atlantic declared bankruptcy, we don't know who's going to pick up my daughter in January. I don't even know if she's going to have a bus route,” said parent Beth Torin.
Atlantic will go out of business on December 31.
The next day its work will be spread out to various companies based on a bankruptcy auction.