New milestone for U.S. Autogas school buses

A fleet of 18 LPG-powered buses were delivered to Newport News Public Schools, in Virginia. Their arrival marked a special milestone — the 15,000th Autogas bus delivered by Blue Bird. Newport News Public Schools operates a fleet of 335 buses; 62 are fuelled by LPG, an emission-reducing, cost-effective alternative fuel. The district has run Autogas buses for two years and will add 11 more by the end of 2019.

“We continue to replace our school district’s aging diesel buses with Autogas. It not only reduces emissions, but also saves our district thousands of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs each year,” said Shay Coates, transportation director of Newport News Public Schools. “We’ve saved $800 on oil changes alone with each of our Autogas buses compared to our diesel buses,” added Brian Hanna, maintenance manager for Newport News Public Schools.

The shift away from diesel is part of a national trend. School district and school bus contractor use of Autogas school buses has increased 800% in the last seven years, according to the Propane Education & Research Council. “Currently more than 1 million students at over 900 public and private schools ride propane buses each day,” said Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of PERC, who also presented Newport News School District with the PERC Clean Energy Innovation Award.

“The Newport News school district is joining hundreds of other school systems across the country that choose clean-operating and economical LPG,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer of Blue Bird Corporation. “They want to save money, benefit the environment and simplify maintenance. Propane’s reputation as economical, safe and environmentally friendly is growing quickly.”

The Ford engine with a ROUSH CleanTech LPG fuel system used to equip the Blue Bird Propane Vision bus is, on average, 65% lower emitting than the current emissions standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The district celebrated the milestone bus with an event at its new transportation facility. To accommodate its growing Autogas fleet, the district installed a second LPG station that can fuel two buses at once. For more information, please visit this link.

20 November 2019