THE BRONX - Yellow school bus drivers have traded in their picket signs for keys as they return to their normal routes for the first time since beginning a five-week long strike.

More than 150,000 students citywide are getting to and from school today with the familiar faces of their regular drivers. Parents are relieved after having to readjust their schedules and find new ways to transport their kids.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 walked off the job in a fight to get the Employee Protection Provision guaranteed in new contracts, a move the city says would be illegal.

The strike officially came to an end last Friday after five mayoral candidates sent a letter promising to revisit the issue when one of them takes office.