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North Crawford School District goes green with propane-fueled school buses

North Crawford School District added Blue Bird propane-fueled school buses to its fleet.

The buses lower the district's carbon footprint while reducing transportation costs, according to a news release.

“We were spending a lot of money and time on diesel-related repairs, and our research showed propane buses would likely have less maintenance costs,” said Demetri Andrews, business manager for North Crawford School District. “They don’t need the extra emissions products installed like our diesel buses.”

North Crawford School District pays $1.32 per gallon for propane compared with $3.10 for diesel. “Diesel prices are more volatile and difficult to budget for us,” said Andrews. His district contracted with a local propane supplier to lock in the price, making propane easier from a budgeting standpoint.

Each Blue Bird Vision Propane school bus is powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system. To help emissions, the propane engine is certified to California Air Resources Board’s strict low nitrogen oxide (NOx) level of 0.05 grams per brake horsepower - hour, making it 75 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s current emissions standard, and the cleanest propane school bus on the road.

“Schools that add Blue Bird Vision Propane buses to their fleets love the quiet ride, the cost savings, and the opportunity to improve air quality in their communities,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Blue Bird’s propane bus offers the cleanest engine in the industry, with the lowest total cost of ownership of any bus on the market.”

The North Crawford buses, which run regular daily routes, have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 3,000 pounds and particulate matter by about 65 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced. Buses fueled by propane virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with conventional diesel.

“North Crawford School District’s propane school buses are the cleanest operating school buses on the road today and provide a quick return on investment to school districts of all sizes,” said Ryan Zic, director of school bus sales for ROUSH CleanTech. “The low cost of the fuel and maintenance makes adopting propane school buses economically feasible for all school districts.”

The district chose to install an onsite propane station to fuel the buses. The propane company supplied the tank and the school district paid for the cement slab and electrical hook-up. “The district spent a total of $8,000 in fueling infrastructure costs,” Andrews said. He reports that those costs have already been recouped through fuel and maintenance savings.

North Crawford plans to purchase additional propane-fueled bus in the near future.
 


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