Louisiana schools get funds to buy Autogas buses through VW settlement

Public school districts in East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes are among those qualifying for discounts on 142 cleaner-burning buses as part of a court settlement. Auto manufacturer Volkswagen pleaded guilty last year to cheating on emissions standards tests and agreed to pay $2.9 billion in damages. As part of the settlement, states received money to promote clean air. Louisiana has decided to spend much of its $18 million in settlement money to replace some diesel-powered school buses with Autogas vehicles.

Seven school districts applied for new clean fuel buses: East Baton Rouge plans to receive 50 Autogas buses through 2020, while Lafayette has requested help buying 13 buses fuelled by LPG.

East Baton Rouge already has 20 Autogas buses in its 535-bus fleet. Depending on funding, the district buys between five and 50 new units each year, said Gary Reese, chief of student support services for the East Baton Rouge Parish School District. Officials are working to transition to an all-Autogas fleet.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is overseeing the programme. Authorities said Autogas buses typically cost $100,000 to $110,000. Settlement money will pay half the cost of an Autogas bus, because in terms of air quality, LPG offers a better option, said DEQ Deputy Secretary Denise Bennett.

To qualify for the current programme, districts have to scrap an in-service, pre-2009 diesel bus so it is no longer in service. If you want to know more, please check this link.

12 September 2018