School Bus Crews Work Overtime To Get Buses Started, Out On Time


UPDATED: Tuesday January 22, 2013 5:20 PM

While many were still sleeping, school transportation crews were at bus garages Tuesday morning working overtime to get the vehicles started and off on time.

The cold temperatures forced many central Ohio school districts, like the Westerville City School district, to delay classes.

Columbus City Schools officials said that because their district works on a tiered busing system, delays are not possible.

“We had a starting crew that got here about 3:30 or 4 this morning that starts up our buses,” said Columbus City Schools Transportation Director Steve Simmons.

Simmons said that more than half of the district’s buses have an Auxiliary Engine Heater, which helps the vehicles start on cold mornings.

“They are set by the driver,” Simmons said. “Inside the bus there is a button that you push on the bus, and it will come on at 4 a.m. anytime the temperature is below 20 degrees, so they were all on last night.”

The auxiliary heater button not only helps to make sure the buses start and leave on time, they are there to make sure the buses are warm by the time they arrive to pick up students.

Simmons said that even with the technology, it doesn’t guarantee a perfect start to the day.

“We all have our problems when things are cold, when things get a lot slower, when it is so cold,” Simmons said. “So we are very deliberate and things run a little behind sometimes, but we had a great on-time performance today.”

The district said that its plans would be in place again on Wednesday morning, since temperatures are expected to be just as frigid.

The only difference Wednesday morning is that crews plan to start warming buses at 2 a.m., officials said.

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