AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students in Austin will stay warm as they ride to school on district buses, Austin ISD’s transportation department said, following a day of testing the heating systems in the buses that have been parked for two weeks over the holidays.
At the bus terminal in south Austin, employees turned on the systems on all 172 buses there and let them run for a few minutes Tuesday to make sure everything was working properly. Across the district, students will catch the bus on more than 400 routes Wednesday morning. AISD told KXAN they found no major problems with heating systems on their buses.
“They’ve always had heaters,” said Joe Molina, the district’s shop foreman at the south terminal.”It’s just maintaining them, because the dust from the kids coming in, trash — with the fans on it draws it in and blocks those fans up. That’s what we go through and make sure the filters are clean so that you get good air circulation, the heat distributes a lot faster.”
The buses are diesel and take a little while to warm up — so people arrive early to make sure the heaters are on and the buses are warmed by the time students start using them. Some bus drivers hit the road as early as 5 a.m., according to Kris Hafezizadeh with Austin ISD Transportation.
“We’ll do whatever we can so the kids don’t have to wait at the bus stops much longer than they need to,” Hafezizadeh said.