By Connor Adams Sheets
The New York State Bus Contractors Association has named Vallo Transportation, an independent school bus company based in College Point, the bus contractor of the year.
The award recognizes the company for its safety record, time performance, maintenance, training programs and legacy of community outreach.
“We’re extremely honored to be recognized for our commitment to providing safe, reliable bus service for children throughout Queens,” Vallo Transportation’s president, Linda DeSabato, said in a statement.
But Vallo’s neighbors do not second the association’s assessment of the company. In recent months, neighbors and members of the College Point Civic Association have raised complaints about the company’s negative effects on the neighborhood.
Andy Rocco, the College Point Civic Association’s president, says nearby homeowners are incensed about the way the company operates, saying it disrupts their lives and acts as a bad neighbor.
“This is a business, a blatant bus company that blocks traffic when all the buses come out at once, and when you live there, you hear the beep-beep backing-up noise all the time, because its a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation,” Rocco said. “If in the morning you’re trying to go to work and 10 buses pull out at once, or you’re trying to sleep and you live near there and you hear this noise all night, it’s disruptive.”
Rocco said the civic wants the company to either stop operating in a manner that causes such disturbance or to move out of the neighborhood, which is zoned for residential use.
Vallo did not return a request for comment Tuesday. The company operates a fleet of more than 50 buses that carry children from Queens to private and magnet schools in Manhattan and the Bronx. It also provides charter service for field trips, community organizations and other purposes.
The civic will be meeting to discuss issues regarding Vallo at 7 p.m. this Thursday at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.