Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Buses running on propane make positive economic impact

As the first Missouri school district to add propane buses to its fleet, the Fort Zumwalt School District was featured on the July cover of School Transportation News.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a leader in green transportation technology. We’re doing our part for our students, our community and for the environment,” said Laura Wagner, assistant to superintendent-PR/Media.

Eight propane-fueled buses transported students on regular routes for the district last school year. The district will add another 22 propane-fueled buses to the fleet when school starts on Aug. 14.

With 18 percent of the fleet running on alternative fuel, drivers, mechanics and fuel technicians all have been through training on the new equipment. The district currently has 198 drivers and monitors, including substitutes. In addition to the 30 propane-fueled buses, the district has 138 diesel buses in its fleet.

“Only those drivers who bid on the appropriate routes or who will be driving the appropriate routes were trained on the propane buses,” said Wagner.

Wagner said there are many benefits to using propane-fueled buses including quieter engines and cleaner burning fuel.

According to the district, propane buses cut 60 percent of the carbon monoxide, 12 percent of the carbon dioxide, 20 percent of the nitrogen oxide and as much as 25 percent of the greenhouse gases their gasoline-powered predecessors used.

Lower fuel costs will also save the district about $3,000 per propane bus annually, according to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Orr. The district saved an estimated $24,000 for the eight propane buses in operation last year. Read more here.

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