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Delay helps buses start: Students, not vehicles, ready for cold snap

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Students were ready for school Tuesday morning, despite subzero wind chills that led administrators to enact a two-hour delay.

Buses were another matter.

John Quick, superintendent of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., said 15 out of his district’s 109 buses had trouble starting because of temperatures that drained batteries and caused other electrical problems. But a two-hour delay gave the district’s transportation department time to send three mechanics to areas across the district, which Transportation Director Karen Wetherald said allowed all 15 buses to get passengers to school on time.

Wetherald said that in some cases bus drivers got their buses started by themselves before a mechanic was needed.

Attendance across the Bartholomew Consolidated and Flat Rock-Hawcreek school districts was typical of any other day, according to officials from both school systems.

Quick said it might have been that the two-hour delay gave parents who drive their children to class extra time they needed to get their vehicles running.

There are multiple reasons for the two-hour delay, Quick said, including:

  • It gives drivers some daylight so they don’t have to work in the dark.
  • It gives school officials extra time to heat the buildings.

Quick said bus problems from cold weather are almost always the result of electrical problems. He said frozen gas lines are rarely — if ever — a problem because of gas additives the district uses with its bus fleet.

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