I know parents and staff are frustrated and anxious when bus transportation is delayed by trains blocking major traffic arteries. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly frequent. Our district’s only recourse is to send parents an electronic alert letting them know there is another train blocking traffic. (Parents can also use Durham’s bus tracker app to see where any bus is at any given moment.) In the meantime we have antsy children waiting on hot buses with no air conditioning or waiting at school to be picked up by buses unable to arrive on time.
Obviously, we never know how long the train actually will be immobile so it is always a coin toss on what to do next. Should the buses reroute or would it be faster for them to stay put? Feeling lucky?
Our Village officials and our Police Department have tried to address this problem directly with the Canadian National Railway to no avail. Today I wrote the attached letter and emailed it to the company’s Senior Manager of Media. I also sent copies to Senator Pam Althoff, Senator Melinda Bush, Representative Sam Yingling and the Illinois Department of Transportation. It is critical we make our voices heard. Our children deserve safe, predictable and timely bus transportation. CN Rail Letter 5-11-18
Whether the train stalls are due to the longer length of trains or simply bad timing, the end result is the same: Canadian National Railway is responsible for fixing this situation. Please take a moment and voice your concern. The Canadian National contacts can be found here: https://www.cn.ca/en/contact-us (By the way, I would suggest skipping the 1-888 numbers since I only got an endless voice recording loop telling me my call was important, but apparently not important enough for a real person to pick up.)
On a positive note, Durham Transportation has been exceptionally flexible in handling the challenges caused by the delays. We appreciate their timely communication and concern for our children. Thank you Durham and Jan Hilliard!