Center Grove burns extra fuel to keep buses warm

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As January winds down, the average temperature is headed for one of Indiana's coldest months in more than thirty years.  

Schools have canceled or delayed classes multiple times throughout the month, stressing academic calendars and transportation budgets.

At Center Grove, where drivers began starting school buses before 5:00 a.m. Wednesday to get them warm before students get on, the extra fuel is adding up.

"We're seeing an extreme cost for fuel," said Transportation Director Rick Pederson.  "We need to get out here early - about 4:30 a.m. to get these buses warmed up and make sure they're working."

Those early starts represent not only an added cost in fuel, which Pederson said is "significantly higher" than last year, but the extra man-hours needed to start the buses early.

Replacing batteries and fuel additives also adds to Center Grove's costs.

But the end game is making sure students are safe and comfortable for their ride to school.