Cold weather puts freeze on school buses

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-14 21:08:44-05

By: Mark Green

SALT LAKE CITY - Several school districts experienced problems when the extremely cold temperatures on Monday kept some buses from starting.

The Canyons School District had only a handful of buses out of commission, but the Salt Lake School District was down 20 buses Monday morning, and the Jordan School District was down by 30.

In the Jordan School District about 3,000 of the 14,000 students the district transports were affected. Parents received automated phone calls informing them their students' buses might be late.

Mechanics at the Jordan School District started all 230 buses Sunday evening, but the buses can’t idle overnight, and it was just too cold Monday morning for some of them to start. There are several issues at play, including batteries not holding their charge and diesel fuel gelling.

Steve Dunham is the spokesperson for the Jordan School District, and he said the issue has been a challenge, but Jordan School District mechanics are trying several treatment options to avoid a repeat of the problem.

“We’re treating now the fuel systems, we’re treating the oil, we’re treating the electrical system, even our air systems are freezing up in some cases, so yes, we’re working hard to make sure that we can get our children to school safely,” Dunham said.

With low temperatures expected again Tuesday parents might get calls informing them their students' buses are running late again.