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Mechanical Issues Due to Unseasonably Warm Weather

February 21, 2018

Due to mechanical problems, four buses were out of service on three routes on February 20. Trips were missed and other trips delayed. Riders reacting to the unseasonably warm weather asked the driver to turn on the air conditioning. Four of our newer drivers, unfamiliar with the process of switching buses from heating to cooling, turned on the AC. This resulted in four non-functioning buses.

The air conditioning on buses doesn’t work like it does on cars and small vans. Bus drivers cannot flip a switch between heat and air conditioning. It’s more like older apartment buildings, where the entire system has to be set one way or the other.

Getting buses ready for summer air conditioning or winter heat happens at the maintenance facility. Technicians must refresh the coolant; check and sometimes replace belts; and check the sensors, cabling and fan. It takes several weeks to do this for all of ART’s 60+ buses, which means some buses may be more comfortable than others for a while. We have alerted all drivers to this process and they will be able to tell you whether the bus is set for heat or air conditioning. If you feel too hot or cold on an ART bus:

  • Politely ask the driver whether the temperature can be adjusted. Open or close the windows. The top portions of the windows can be opened or closed by using the handle.
  • Try to find a different seat. The sunny side of the bus tends to be warmest.

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