We just received a SchoolMessenger audio communication from the Wellesley Public Schools about the challenges Eastern Bus, the WPS transportation contractor, encountered this morning due to the effect the extended cold temperatures had on their school buses. Although Eastern Bus had been in contact with WPS during the end of last week and on New Year’s day as they worked to service and run the buses in preparation for the return to school today, things didn’t work out entirely as planned.
Although the drivers arrived at the yard between 4:45am and 5am today to warm up the buses, and even though all the buses started this morning, some failed along the routes. And that meant that students standing at bus stops in sub-zero temperatures were left waiting and wondering where their nice, warm, yellow school buses were. As WPS learned of the failures, the communication efforts began, but many parents didn’t have the information in time to do anything about the situation.
For the afternoon commute the balmy 18-degree temperatures seemed to suit the engines, and all buses were running properly. For the Wednesday morning commute, temps are forecasted to be 5 – 10 degrees, as opposed to the sub zero temps of this morning, so the hope is that the buses will be fine. In an effort to rely on more than hope, Eastern Bus plans to have staff mechanics in the yard during the warm-up period to respond promptly to any issues.
WPS will continue to communicate through School Messenger for now, and says they will be exploring additional ways to communicate in the future.
The SchoolMessenger InfoCenter is available in PowerSchool. Click the “SchoolMessenger InfoCenter” icon in the left sidebar of the Power School Parent Portal.