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Buses' fuel gauges stay above E

Charlotte's school buses and city buses appear to have enough fuel – for now.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' buses got another day's fuel Tuesday, with three trucks arriving as the district's supply was edging toward empty.

The Charlotte Area Transit System said it has a week's worth of fuel on hand, and is expecting a shipment today. CATS isn't planning any service cuts because of the nationwide fuel shortage, said Jean Leier, a CATS spokeswoman.

CMS, which runs more than 1,200 buses, burns 20,000 gallons of diesel a day – twice as much as CATS. Hurricane Ike disrupted weekend deliveries, leaving CMS with one more day's reserve at the end of Monday. Officials canceled some after-hours activities for this week.

Three tankers carrying a total of 22,500 gallons arrived Tuesday morning, said Associate Superintendent Guy Chamberlain. And CMS tapped 18,000 gallons from the CATS bus system's 100,000-gallon reserve as well.

Industry officials say they're unsure how quickly the supply will be restored from the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast. Even if the refineries sustained no major damage, restarting them can take several days.

CMS officials will offer a fuel-supply update at a news conference today and will decide at the end of the week whether to continue the fuel-saving measures.

This week's cancellations include middle-school volleyball and softball games; after-school cultural-enrichment programs scheduled to begin at 11 middle schools; and field trips to parks, museums and farms.

High-school sports, after-school programs for elementary schools, Special Olympics and field trips that are part of the curriculum remain open, with busing provided.

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