When the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS; San Diego, Calif.) looked at alternative fuels to find a replacement for gasoline in its paratransit buses and minibuses, it determined that propane autogas provided the tank capacity and range those vehicles require. Today, nearly three years after it began transitioning those fleets to propane, MTS has found that the propane buses also operate cleaner and more economically.
08.12.19 — Students returning to Kansas City Public Schools are riding in brand new propane autogas buses. The majority of the district’s school bus fleet now operates on this emission-reducing, economical fuel. On the outside, the 155 Blue Bird school buses look the same, but it’s their quiet ride and low emissions that attracted the district.
The longevity of a school bus and the fuel it runs on are not mutually exclusive. There are different factors to consider about the lifespan of a school bus – whether it’s fueled by diesel or propane autogas. The average lifespan of a school bus is 12 to 15 years. The average age of school buses on the road is about nine years, retired by about 15 years.
After more than a year of testing, researchers from West Virginia University concluded emissions measured from propane school buses are significantly lower than those from diesel buses. Almost 1 million students in more than 900 school districts across the nation ride to school in propane school buses each day.
Propane autogas isn’t new to the school transportation world. In fact, it’s been a proven performer in buses since the 1970s. Over the past seven years, propane autogas school bus registrations have increased by more than 700 percent, with more than 17,000 propane buses on the road nationwide and over one million students in 47 states safely transported to school and home every day.