New Mexico Schools Roll Out Propane Buses

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The New Mexico Public Education Department, Los Lunas Public Schools, Magdalena Municipal School District and Moriarty-Edgewood School District (MESD) say they have purchased 17 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel systems.

The buses will be the first of their kind to operate in the state. 

“Our district has had to dip into operational monies to supplement our transportation costs over the last eight years. Adopting propane technology will be significantly cheaper in fuel and maintenance costs,” says Teresa Salazar, superintendent of MESD.

The districts’ propane buses emit fewer total hydrocarbons and harmful nitrogen oxides and virtually eliminate particulate matter. Exposure to NOx exhaust can have negative health effects on children and is a leading cause of asthma, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Propane autogas prices average 50% less than diesel, and the fuels helps reduce maintenance costs and wear and tear on the engine and components.

“It is very rewarding to see these New Mexico school districts lead the state toward adopting these near-zero-emission propane school buses,” says Mark Terry, CCO of Blue Bird. “They will experience the cost- and emissions-reducing benefits with Blue Bird propane school buses, resulting in district savings that can find their way into the classroom.”

Additional savings are available thanks to the extension of the federal alternative fuel excise credit, which covers propane at 36 cents per U.S. gallon and propane fueling equipment up to $30,000 per property. VW Environmental Mitigation Trust and diesel replacement funds can also help districts with propane bus purchases.

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