Vallo Transportation, Ltd., a company that busses Bayside kids to Bronx High School of Science, recently won a city contract to transport homeless people in the pre-dawn hours — leaving some wondering if the buses are being sanitized between rides.
The company's contract, inked a few months ago, is with the Department of Homeless Services. They shuttle for DHS indigent people between check-in facilities and shelters, according to Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone.
The Council Member, who had been investigating the company to resolve a constituent services issue, announced the contract at a Town Hall meeting in October.
"They may not even be the same buses — they do have a very large fleet," clarified Halloran after the Town Hall, and after having met with representatives of Vallo.
The company recently received an anonymous letter from a parent worried about the spread of bedbugs via the buses from DHS clients, who do not have ready access to sanitary facilities.
"Believe me, I would never do that to my kids," said Vallo Manager Linda Desabat, responding rhetorically to the letter. "I would never put them in jeopardy."
According to Desabat, the company uses 13 of its buses to transport the homeless – including homeless children — and 30 others to bus children to school.
The DHS did not respond to questions about their policies on hygiene, or level of oversight of the cleaning periods in between rides. Desabat said her staff, as a sanitary measure between DHS client rides, uses Clorox to sterilize the buses every morning.