Stopped trains are causing long delays for school buses and drivers in Anderson

Posted at 1:48 AM, Mar 17, 2018

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Stopped trains are creating long delays for school buses and drivers alike in Anderson. 

Anderson Community School buses transport 6,000 students per day. The school district's chief operations officer says it's becoming more difficult to keep everything on time.

"We've got trains that have blocked intersections for 45 minutes. We have buses that are 45 minutes late. Sometimes we can pick those kids up with buses we have nearby, but sometimes those kids just have to wait," said Joe Cronk, Chief Operations Officer, Anderson Community Schools.

Cronk estimates there's a train stopped on the tracks during the morning rush at least once a week.

"We have a radio system, and a lot of time drivers will come across and say, 'Hey, there's a train stopped here.' We'll find ways around it," said Matthew Benzenbower, Anderson Transit System.

Cronk says it's a disruption to parents who wait the extra time at the bus stop with their children.

He says students interrupt class when they walk in late.

"Depending on how late they are, they may or may not eat breakfast. Some of our kids eat breakfast, they eat lunch, and they don't eat again until breakfast the next day," said Cronk.

Bus drivers aren't the only ones hitting the brakes.

One train was stopped on the tracks for at least four hours Friday.

"I'm stuck here till who knows when. And I don't know my way around enough to back up and go around. I could be driving around town forever," said Theresa Okerson, driver.

"I should have been there and unloaded already. It doesn't take them long to unload. I have somewhere else to be today," said Terry Coons, semi driver.

In a statement, a spokesperson for CSX said, "We apologize for delays around Anderson schools during morning rush hour. Safety is our highest priority and our operations team is working to adjust schedules to avoid this situation from occurring."

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