School transportation directors from all over Texas converged in Dallas for the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation Conference last weekend. The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) said it was on hand to educate transportation officials on propane autogas technology to help districts lower school bus emissions. According to the nonprofit, there are nearly 2,500 school buses powered by propane operating in Texas.
ProCOT said propane school buses reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, produce fewer smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions, and do not expose children to harmful particulate matter found in diesel exhaust.
“Propane autogas is a smart choice for Texas schools,” said Jackie Mason, ProCOT's educational and marketing director. “Not only does propane lower harmful emissions, but it reduces fuel costs and has a proven safety record in Texas.”
ProCOT said that even with the current low prices of conventional motor fuels, propane autogas still offers significant savings over diesel for school districts looking to make the switch. In addition, ProCOT said the alternative fuel is found “right in our own backyard,” as Texas produces a large share of the nation's propane.
“School districts have options. Top school bus manufacturers have responded to requests for greener buses, and they now produce propane buses, including Blue Bird, Collins Bus Corp., Thomas Built Bus and IC Bus,” noted Mason.
According to the group, over 70 school districts, including Arlington ISD, Conroe ISD, Houston ISD, and Eanes ISD in Austin, are using propane buses. Dallas County Schools and Northside ISD in San Antonio host the largest propane school bus fleets in Texas, added ProCOT.