Cold temperatures kept school buses from starting and caused more delays as students headed back to school Tuesday.
FOX23 has learned 14 bus drivers called in sick, plus there were 17 buses that would not start in the cold temperatures.
“The little one is bundled up with earmuffs, hat, gloves, three shirts, jacket,” Julie Grieb told FOX23.
That’s how TPS leaders urged parents to bundle kids as school resumed in the bitter cold temperatures, temperatures that likely felt colder for bud riders left waiting even longer than normal.
“How long do you wait, do you wait 30 minutes, 45 minutes before you call the bus department and say where’s the bus at and then find out it’s not coming at all?,” Mattie Badgwell asked.
While some bus routes experienced big delays, Badgwell says her kids’ bus never came.
Fortunately, she got a call from their bus driver.
“If the bus driver wouldn’t have called me, I would’ve been here sitting and waiting for a bus that’s not even going to show up, that still hasn’t show up to this point.”
And she never heard from the district until she called TPS’ Transportation Department.
“[The woman who answered] simply said that that’s why they tell people to dress appropriately and wear warm clothes when they’re waiting for the bus,” Badgwell said.
Around 7:00 a.m., FOX23’s Janai Norman called to check on delays but was directed to the district’s spokesman.
That’s when FOX23 uncovered a number of buses did not start and drivers would be doubling back through their routes checking for any students left waiting for hours for their bus.
“A parent thinks they’re going to be picked up in 30-40 minutes and it’s a two hour delay, it’s a big deal,” Badwell said. “If they were going to have this many problems with the buses, maybe they shouldn’t have had school today.”