District Unveils New Propane-Fueled School Buses at Media Event

North Penn School District in Pennsylvania kicked off the deployment of its new propane buses with a ribbon-cutting event. In front of school officials, company representatives and various media, the district unveiled its 14 new propane-fueled buses.

North Penn School District currently pays 97 cents per gallon for propane compared with $2.04 for diesel. The district has a newly installed, onsite fuel station with 18,000-gallon tank capacity.

The district’s drivers are impressed with the power of the new propane buses and the low amount of noise that the engines create. Buses fueled by propane reduce noise levels by about half compared to a diesel engine. Drivers note that the propane buses make for a much quieter and calmer bus ride for the students.

“With a propane bus, I am able to monitor activity inside the bus much better than I’d ever been able to before,” said bus driver William Gottshall. “If something is going on inside the propane bus, I know about it immediately.”

Steve Skrocki, the district’s chief financial officer, spoke during the event. “I like numbers, especially this math equation. This math adds up,” he said. “More savings, plus an environmentally clean and safe operation equals a win-win for the North Penn students and community.”

Tina Stoll, school board president, agreed. “Replacing some of our older diesel buses with these clean energy propane buses really spoke to the board’s vision. Propane fuel costs a fraction of what diesel costs and maintenance costs are much lower. For every dollar that we can save with these kinds of things, we can push back into the classroom because that is our ultimate mission.”

These Blue Bird Vision Propane and Micro Bird buses were funded in part by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to support projects that reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. The district plans to purchase more propane buses with the budget it saves in fuel and maintenance.

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