The Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD), in partnership with LP3 Transportation Solutions, has switched out its entire school bus fleet for Blue Bird propane-powered school buses, allowing the school district to save money in maintenance and fuel costs and to reduce its carbon footprint.
According to a joint release from Blue Bird, RCSD and system provider ROUSH, this move nearly quadruples the number of propane-fueled buses in Saskatchewan.
RCSD partnered with LP3 Transportation Solutions to add 89 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses from Legacy Bus Sales in Saskatoon to help reduce emissions. The release says that these Blue Bird buses make up 100% of its Type C fleet and represent the largest propane bus fleet in Saskatchewan.
“Regina Catholic School Division was the top priority when we started to look at school divisions that we wanted to work with because of our shared mission and values,” says David White, vice president of operations for LP3 Transportation Solutions. “Our event today, called ‘Meaningful Difference with Alternative Fuels,’ exemplifies that partnership.”
Equipped with Ford Motor Co.’s 6.8 L V10 engine, each bus is powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system. The Blue Bird Vision Propane buses emit 80% fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with diesel.
According to the release, the new Blue Bird buses were chosen for their ability to start in cold weather, retain heat in the cabin more effectively and operate more quietly, in addition to their environmental benefits. Further, buses fueled by propane reduce engine noise levels by 11 decibels, or about 50%, compared with diesel-fueled buses.
“Blue Bird congratulates Regina Catholic Schools for their leadership in alternative-fuel use in Saskatchewan,” says Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “Our Blue Bird Vision Propane bus emits virtually zero emissions, exceeding stringent emissions standards. Our unique ‘EconoShift’ optimization feature ensures we lead the industry in fuel economy in large propane-powered school buses, and with simpler maintenance and service requirements, Blue Bird’s propane bus is the best cost-of-ownership choice for many school districts.”
“Regina Catholic Schools joins over 600 school districts throughout North America that run clean-operating propane buses,” says Brian Carney, executive director of school bus sales and customer support for ROUSH CleanTech.
According to the Canadian Propane Association, propane costs about 37% less than gasoline per gallon, and the propane infrastructure cost is significantly less than natural gas. The RCSD fuels its propane buses at an on-site station and has plans to set up additional propane fuel stations in remote locations in the near future.