School bus companies work to minimize waiting times in the cold

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VILLA PARK, Ill. -- If you've ever waited at the bus stop in bitter cold weather, you know how bad it can be. That's why bus companies like Cottage Hill in Villa Park worked overnight to make sure that the buses picking up children for school are both reliable and warm.

Bob Beck, Director of Operations for Cottage Hill Bus Company, tells WGN that preparations started around 7:00 last night to make sure the company's 144 school buses would be running without a hitch.

5,700 students from Elmhurst, Addison and Lombard rely on these school buses -- hoping they don't have to stand outside in the sub-zero temperatures for too long.

Eight members of the bus company's "Cold Start Team" turned over engines all night long to make sure they were warm and running for the morning bus routes.

Mechanics were also on hand to troubleshoot any issues.

Buses run in the yard for 15 to 30 minute increments, are shut off, and then started again later to keep engines warm.

Extra buses are on stand-by in the event one breaks down in the cold.

By the time drivers come in their school buses are warmed up and ready to roll out. It's then up to bus drivers to make sure they are on time for their scheduled pickups.

Bus drivers also do visual safety checks each day to make sure no children are left on buses, especially in these bitter cold temperatures.