Pennsylvania district speeds up shift to green fuels with 50% Autogas school bus fleet
East Stroudsburg Area School District approved the purchase of 52 LPG-powered school buses and vans. “We are moving to convert our bus fleet from diesel to propane,” said district Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Bader. “It is a more environment-friendly fuel option that will save money down the road in service costs.”
Thousands of students spread across more than 200 square miles rely on the district’s transportation program. East Stroudsburg currently has over 100 vehicles in its fleet. The move toward alternative fuel is expected to cut costs significantly.
“The long-term savings are part of our plan for being fiscally responsible to taxpayers,” said Bader. “Autogas is a less expensive fuel than diesel, and we can keep the buses longer this way.”
The 52 Autogas vehicles, which will enter into service in July in time for next school year, include 36 72-passenger buses, six 48-passenger vans equipped with wheelchair lifts and 10 30-passenger vans.
In September, school board officials sought bids for the new buses. Vendors provided loaner vehicles to the district for evaluation. “We had several drivers try each of the buses,” commented Bader. “They took them on their regular run for a couple days.”
Bus drivers then completed a survey about the experience. Student input also factored in to the evaluation, said Bader. “We asked students how they felt about the buses,” he said. “We looked for things like smoothness of the ride and quietness specifically. Diesel is very noisy; Autogas is much quieter.”