YONKERS - Thousands of kids took the bus to school as usual after a strike was averted that would have shut down service in New Rochelle, Mount Vernon and Yonkers.

Drivers at the Mile Square Bus Company were all set to walk the picket line this morning, but union leaders and company officials were able to reach a tentative deal over the weekend. A strike by members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 would have meant nearly 6,000 students would have had to find another way to get to school this morning.

Union officials from Transport Workers Union Local 100 say drivers went nearly five years without a contract or a pay increase and spent the past three months in negotiations.

As the deadline approached on Saturday, a tentative deal was struck in which new contracts will extend through 2016 and workers will get an estimated 8 percent pay hike within that time.

The agreement is tentative, which means union members still have to vote on it, but both sides say they fully expect a vote to pass.