Hammond Transportation has added 20 Blue Bird Propane Vision buses to its fleet that runs school bus routes in the Parry Sound, Ontario, region.
Hammond, an Ontario-based school bus, charter bus and motor coach operator, notes it started providing school bus service to the West Parry Sound Board of Education in 1979 and now operates 32 school bus routes in the area for the Nipissing Parry Sound Student Transportation Service.
The company bought the propane-powered buses from Brantford-based Girardin Blue Bird, a local distributor for Blue Bird Corp., and each bus is equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech autogas fuel system. Hammond Transportation says it chose to purchase the alt-fuel buses in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a cleaner riding environment for students and reduce maintenance costs for each unit.
The company does note there were some additional up-front costs for the autogas buses, including the cost of the propane conversion, the installation of the fuel station, driver training, and additional training and licensing requirements for mechanics. Hammond Transportation will fuel all of its propane buses at its Parry Sound bus depot after recently installing an on-site autogas fueling station.
“This is a bit of a pilot project for us,” explains Greg Hammond, CEO of the company. “We have done a lot of research on this project, and we are confident that the propane buses won't cost us more in the long run. We know that these buses will be better for the environment, both short and long term. They really make sense on every level for us.”
“In the United States, there are many, many school boards that are converting to propane autogas,” says Dan Petruccelli, regional account manager for Girardin Blue Bird. “We're hoping that will happen here in Ontario as well.”