Propane-powered school buses save money, reduce harmful emissions
Eleven alternatively fueled school buses from ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird roll out this month for the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township in Indiana. The fleet represents the largest deployment of propane autogas school buses in the state of Indiana, according to a press release.
The Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision buses, purchased through dealer MacAllister Transportation, include 10 78-passenger models and a bus outfitted with a wheelchair lift.
“Better cold weather starts, lower maintenance and fuel cost, quieter buses, as well as better air quality for students, the bus driver and our community were the reasons we chose propane autogas,” said Steve Smith, director of transportation for M.S.D. Warren Township. “With the fuel’s clean operation, we anticipate longer maintenance intervals and lower periodic maintenance cost.”
The new Blue Bird Propane Vision buses replace older diesel models. A propane autogas fuel system manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech powers each bus.
Historically, propane autogas costs about 50 percent less than diesel per gallon and reduces maintenance costs due to its clean-operating properties. To fuel the buses, M.S.D. Warren Township installed two onsite autogas fuel stations with 1,000-gallon capacity each.
“Our drivers will feel more confident taking the longer routes and field trips by having fuel conveniently located and available around the clock,” Smith said.
The fleet of propane autogas buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 13,600 pounds and particulate matter by about 350 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced.