Inexpensive AND Clean-burning School Buses?

As summer’s end quickly approaches, back to school is on the minds of school bus fleet professionals across the nation.

You might notice some of the school buses in your community are quieter and less exhaust is coming out of the tailpipe. That’s because they’re running on propane autogas.

Student Transportation (STI) just celebrated the largest deployment of propane autogas school buses in the nation’s history. The last of its 434 buses was driven 1,000 miles from Georgia to Nebraska. The bus refueled at existing public stations, demonstrating this alternative fuel’s robust infrastructure across the U.S.

“The benefits of propane autogas school buses are really turning green, both environmentally and cash-flow wise,” said Denis Gallagher, said CEO of STI, which operates buses for more than 200 school districts.“This is not a fad. The payback is real.” 

Just ask Mesa Public Schools, in Arizona, which runs the largest propane autogas bus fleet in their state and saves $6,500 in fuel costs per bus per year. Or Indiana’s Tippecanoe School Corporation, which pays 70 percent less to fuel their propane autogas buses compared to their diesel buses. Or talk to Hall County Schools in Georgia. They saved $260,000 this past school year in fuel costs alone thanks to their propane autogas school buses.

In addition to cost savings, these buses also: lower greenhouse gas emissions; virtually eliminate particulate matter; and reduce noise levels by 50 percent when compared to conventional diesel counterparts.

At the annual School Transportation News Expo last month, the spotlight was on readily available and domestic alternative fuels. School bus manufacturer Blue Bird unveiled a brand new fuel tank — with 40 percent more capacity than their already substantial 67-gallon tank.

Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Omaha — the list of school districts fueling with clean, economical propane autogas goes on and on. This fuel solution keeps students and drivers safe, saves taxpayers dollars, and keeps the air cleaner.

If you run a school fleet and haven’t considered alternative fuels, I’d like to know why.