45 Propane Buses Enter Service in Greater Chicago

Two Illinois school districts took delivery this week of propane autogas school buses from Blue Bird Corp. All of these full-size units feature Ford's 6.8-liter engine and autogas systems from ROUSH CleanTech.

Chicago District No. 299 will be using 25 propane-powered Vision buses through Sunrise Transportation Inc., which operates more than 350 buses in the Chicago metro area.

‘We did our homework when evaluating alternative-fuel school buses,’ says Greg Bonnett, president and co-founder of Sunrise Transportation. ‘We [spoke] with transportation directors across the country, and after continually hearing about the year-over-year operational savings, ease of maintenance, simplistic infrastructure and environmental benefits, we were convinced Blue Bird's propane-powered Vision was the right solution.’

Berkeley School District #87, which serves student just outside of Chicago, is also running new propane vehicles this fall: 20 new Vision buses that Cook-Illinois Corp. purchased from Central States Bus Sales.

Cook-Illinois, which manages an overall bus fleet of more than 2,100 units, first used propane technology in the 1980s.

‘We are thrilled to get back to powering school buses with propane autogas, as it is a safe and efficient source of fuel that is a perfect fit for the yellow school bus industry,’ says John Benish Jr., the company's chief operating officer.

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