Pennsylvania-based Gateway School District has awarded a new contract to Student Transportation Inc. that will see the deployment of 80 new propane autogas school buses over the next six years.
Student Transportation says Gateway is the first school district in western Pennsylvania – and only the second in the state – to switch from diesel to propane. The contract will save the district approximately $372,000 compared to the current estimated transportation cost for the 2013-14 school year.
‘By using the low-cost leasing program we have developed with lenders, we have less need to go back to the market, as we have in the past, for our growth,’ explains Patrick Vaughan, chief operating officer of Student Transportation. ‘We can deploy more alternative fuel vehicles, lowering our fuel cost and reducing carbon monoxide around schools. This is our 'less pollution, less dilution' program.’
In terms of the propane buses themselves, board president Steve O'Donnell and his colleagues took a test ride prior to approving the contract.
‘It was very quiet – a much quieter ride, as I understand, than the diesel-powered,’ O'Donnell said. ‘The exhaust fumes are minimal.’