U.S. school bus contractor quadruples Autogas fleet and abandons diesel


Cook-Illinois Corporation, the largest family owned and operated school bus contractor in the United States and the sixth largest among all school bus companies nationwide, is quadrupling its current fleet of Autogas school buses for next year and, for the first time ever, has not purchased any diesel buses.

The most recent order includes 50 Saf-T-Liner C2 units from Thomas Built Buses equipped with CleanFUEL USA Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) systems.

School districts across the country are shifting their bus fleets from diesel fuel to propane to stretch strained budgets and promote cleaner air. According to Roger Bannerman, fleet director for Cook-Illinois Corporation, the company is already experiencing significant return on investment.

“We have had a big problem with the newer 2007 and 2010 emission diesel engines,” commented Bannerman. “Maintenance on these buses was costing us a fortune. But the Autogas fleet has been a great experience, with no big repairs, and we follow our normal preventative maintenance schedules with no additional work.”

In addition to saving time and money on maintenance costs and excellent cold-weather starting, the low-cost of fuel and infrastructure greatly influenced Cook-Illinois’ decision to expand its Autogas bus fleet. “The ease of setting up infrastructure on-site convinced us to switch,” added Bannerman.