Derry Township School District (DTSD) in Pennsylvania has introduced three new school buses fueled by propane autogas into its fleet for the 2015-2016 school year. The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses are equipped with propane autogas fuel systems manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech, and the buses are reportedly already saving the Derry Township money.
“It’s our department’s goal to save money in transportation costs that can be used for better purposes. Our normal preventative maintenance will cost about $240 less per bus per year with the propane autogas buses,” says Steve Bell, director of transportation and garage operations for DTSD. “The down time and other repair costs will definitely be less than our diesel buses.”
Along with being fiscally responsible, Bell says the school district’s use of more environmentally friendly buses fits well into the district’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
The propane-autogas-powered buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 2,300 pounds and particulate matter by about 95 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced, according to ROUSH CleanTech.
DTSD has also noted that the propane autogas buses are quieter than the diesel motors they replaced. This allows drivers to better hear and communicate with students on board and vastly improve the audio clarity coming from onboard camera systems in the buses.
“Our school district appreciates the cleaner air to breathe and a sense of environmental responsibility for the whole community that comes with these buses,” adds Bell. “The students and bus drivers, along with the general public, enjoy the lower noise levels, which will continue as our district gradually replaces its diesel buses with propane autogas models.”
Later this year, DTSD will take delivery of three additional Blue Bird Propane Vision buses. These three additional buses will be deployed for the 2016-2017 school year, and the school district plans to continue adding propane autogas buses to its fleet in the coming years.