Hammond Transportation Replaces Diesel School Buses with Economical and Clean Propane Autogas

Local bus operator reduces emissions with 20 alternative fuel buses

Twenty new school buses fueled by clean-burning, affordable propane autogas will begin operation for the new school year in the Parry Sound area on school bus routes operated by Hammond Transportation.

Hammond Transportation is one of Ontario’s premier family-owned school bus, charter bus and motor coach operators serving the unique transportation needs of Muskoka, Parry Sound, Simcoe, Haliburton and Algonquin since 1944.  Hammond began providing school bus service to the West Parry Sound Board of Education in 1979 and now operates 32 school bus routes in the area for the Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Service.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing a cleaner riding environment for students, and reducing maintenance costs for each unit, were all reasons cited by Hammond Transportation for the purchase of the propane autogas school buses. Hammond Transportation purchased the buses from Girardin Blue Bird of Brantford. Each bus is equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system.  The buses can be identified by the distinctive green Blue Bird logos on the roof of the buses.

There are some additional up-front costs for the alternatively fueled buses including the cost of the propane conversion, the installation of the fuel station, driver training and additional training and licencing requirements for mechanics.  Hammond Transportation will fuel all of their propane buses at their Parry sound bus depot after recently installing an on-site autogas fueling station.

“”This is a bit of an pilot project for us”” noted Greg Hammond, CEO of the company.  “We have done a lot of research on this project and we are confident that the propane buses won’t cost us more in the long run.  We know that these buses will be better for the environment both short and long term.  They really make sense on every level for us.”

In recent years diesel buses have seen dramatic overhauls in lowering emissions but Hammond stated that “We see the propane buses as the next step in environmentally friendly transportation.”   Hammond Transportation has long been committed to helping create a sustainable tomorrow.  They were one of only two Canadian motor coach operators in the Green Coach Certification Program and have also supported the Muskoka Envirocredits Program.  As one of the first Ontario bus operators to incorporate these vehicles into their fleet Hammond Transportation continues to be a leader in eco-friendly transportation.

Some of the benefits of the new buses include the fact that propane autogas is sourced in Canada, further reducing dependence on foreign oil; the engines are up to 50% quieter than diesel engines so the bus driver can hear the children on the bus and be more attentive;  They also offer excellent cold-weather start performance with no pre-heating of the engine or fuel additives required.  Blue Bird Propane Vision buses start in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees so they save on electricity because the propane buses do not need to have block heaters plugged in.

“In the United States, there are many, many school boards that are converting to propane autogas,” said Dan Petruccelli, Regional Account Manager for Girardin Blue Bird. “We’re hoping that will happen here in Ontario as well.”   According to Petruccelli, the propane-powered vehicles are both greener and safer than those that run on traditional diesel power. They are clean-burning and generate virtually no toxic emissions.

Hammond has already started using the buses in the Parry Sound and Muskoka region providing charter bus service to local groups, summer camps and tourists.  “People visit and live in this region to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.  As a local, family owned business we feel that it is important that we protect the environment by providing eco-friendly transportation” said Greg Hammond.

About Hammond Transportation:

Hammond Transportation is one of Ontario’s premier family-owned school bus, charter bus and motor coach operators. We’ve specialized in serving the unique transportation needs of Muskoka, Parry Sound, Simcoe, Haliburton and Algonquin since 1944!Hammond Transportations’ operations include school bus, charter bus, and tour services. With a fleet of over 175 vehicles serving the Muskoka, Parry Sound, North Simcoe, Haliburton and Algonquin Park areas the bus company operates from coast to coast in Canada and throughout much of the United States, while Muskoka Travel Service operates tours throughout North America and as far afield as Europe and Australia.