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Ditching Diesel Why School Districts Are Switching to Propane School Buses

bus refueling at an amerigas station
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School’s back in full swing, and school districts across America have been learning a valuable lesson: They’re switching from diesel-fueled school buses to buses that run on propane.

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.

Additional Reading:
Tampa Bay Newspapers: Pinellas County school buses running on propane
School Bus Fleet: 5 Lesser-Known Propane Benefits for School Buses Cheltenham Transportation Adds 40 Propane-Fueled Buses to its fleet
American City and County