Ditching Diesel: Why School Districts Are Switching to Propane School Buses
Here are just a few success stories behind this movement:
• In the past three years, four major school districts in the Tampa Bay, Florida area have switched to propane-fueled school buses.
• A suburban Philadelphia school district recently added 40 propane-fueled buses to their existing fleet, plus a propane filling station.
• An Indianapolis school district now uses 11 propane-fueled school buses, the largest fleet of these buses in the state. They also installed two 1,000-gallon autogas fuel stations onsite.
• A Georgia school district recently phased out diesel buses and replaced them with propane-powered buses. They plan to add 25-30 propane buses each year until their fleet is completely propane-powered, with predicted annual savings of up to $1,800 per bus.
This is only a sample of schools switching to propane-fueled school buses. At last count, over 500 school districts nationwide are powering their bus fleets with propane fuel.
What’s driving the boom?
There’s a dramatic rise in the use of propane-powered school buses, and for good reason. Well, make that reasons. There are many benefits to using propane instead of diesel to fuel school buses:
• Less pollution. Vehicles fueled by propane autogas emit 80% fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons compared to diesel.
• More health-conscious. With propane-powered buses, students aren’t exposed to the black exhaust smoke and harmful chemicals in diesel fuel (especially important for students with asthma or other medical conditions).
• Less expensive. On average, propane autogas costs up to 50% less than diesel.
• More reliable. Propane-fueled buses have better cold-weather starts than those running on diesel.
• Less repairs. Because propane buses are burning a cleaner fuel, they require less maintenance.
• More durable. A propane gas tank is 20 times more puncture-resistant than a diesel tank.
• Less noise. Buses fueled by propane autogas are quieter – reducing noise levels by nearly half compared to a diesel engine.
To see how much money you could save by switching to propane-powered school buses, try the Propane Education & Research Council’s autogas calculator. You can also learn how AmeriGas propane can power your school bus fleet by visiting our AutoGas & Fleet Fuel page.
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