10,000 Istanbul drivers refuse to drive school buses for fear of closure

Some 10,000 bus drivers in Istanbul have refused to work for schools out of fear that a surge in COVID-19 cases might close schools once again and they might be left unemployed, an industry representative said on Sep. 9.

Duvar English

Some 10,000 bus drivers in Istanbul have refused to return to work at schools out of fear that a COVID-19 surge will lead to closures again, putting them out of a job, Istanbul Public Service Vehicles Managements Chamber Chair Hamza Öztürk said on Sep. 9.

There are 25,000 registered service vehicles in Istanbul, Öztürk said, adding that almost half of them are out of service at the moment because the drivers feel that they won't have job security.

Drivers are averse to working in school buses and prefer companies instead, Öztürk noted, adding that drivers had been previously out of work for 20 months, which makes them anxious.

"We won't drive school buses in case they close back up in a week. If we work for schools, that means we have to stop working for other places. But then we'll be unemployed if schools close once again," driver Fatih Ocak said.

Meanwhile, parents are reportedly struggling to transport their children to and from school as a result of the shortage of buses.