Half of Lancaster Co. school buses experience problems from cold weather

LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Nearly 13,000 students will be headed back to school tomorrow after an eight-day holiday break, but they will start on a two-hour delay.

Much like the students who were resting, the 77 buses the school system uses were on a break too. Monday, mechanics fired up the buses to make sure they were running smoothly for the first day back, but Superintendent Jonathon Phipps says nearly half of the buses had frozen gear shifts.

"They couldn't get them out of park or reverse," Phipps explained.

Bus mechanics say it was mostly the older model school buses that struggled to thaw out Monday. Some of the buses date back to 1995 and 1996.

Phipps says they do not have enough mechanics on staff to be able to work on every bus the morning students return to school.

"There's just not enough of a maintenance staff to get to every bus for us to be on time," Phipps said. "The last thing we want to happen is have our students waiting by the curb for a bus that's a half hour to an hour late when it's 14 degrees."

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