Boston Mayor Tom Menino emphasized that a wildcat strike by most of the city's school bus drivers is illegal and said he will meet with the city's legal team to resolve it.

At a news conference Tuesday, the mayor said that the strike that stranded most of the city's 33,000 schoolchildren was brought on by "angry people who don't like to follow the rules."

"This is about the safety of our students," Menino said. "And I will not allow them to jeopardize their education or safety."

About 600 of the 700 drivers who work for the city's bus contractor are on strike. Representatives from the Boston Police Department and the public school system says officers on patrol are stopping by bus stops to tell families about the strike. And in some cases, they're actually giving children rides to school. Police are also calling in extra officers to help.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the city's public transit agency, said schoolchildren will be allowed to ride buses and subways for free Tuesday with a valid student ID card. Children under age 11 must be accompanied by an adult.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent John McDonough said the strike will be resolved by whatever means possible.

Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate John Connolly said he spoke with the MBTA about getting buses to take children to school on Wednesday. Connolly said he would favor a court injunction that would allow the city to use money owed to the bus drivers to hire replacement drivers.

"In the case where parents may have already gone to work and children are sitting at the bus stop, not knowing if the bus is coming, that is totally inappropriate to put our children in that kind of vulnerable situation," he said.

In a written statement released this morning, State Representative and mayoral candidate Marty Walsh said the strike is a violation of the bus drivers' contract and should not be tolerated.

"Kids and parents must come first. This is wrong. The bus drivers have put our children in harm’s way," the statement said. "This is an illegal action, causing a huge disruption, and I call on the bus drivers to return to work immediately."

WGBH News reporter Anne Mostue contributed to this report.