The Leander Independent School District (LISD) in Texas says it has added 24 new school buses fueled by propane autogas to its fleet, bringing the district’s total number of autogas buses to 64.
According to the school district, the first 20 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses were rolled out in August, while four more special education buses were delivered this month.
“These buses will lead LISD to a brighter future by helping to decrease our carbon footprint,” said Steve Stripling, director of transportation for the district. “Our older diesel buses didn’t run as clean, and it was time to replace them with propane technology that will reduce emissions out of the tailpipe. Our school district is a steward of our environment and seeks the best options for the health and safety of our students and community.”
The LISD says the new Blue Bird Vision Propane buses are powered with Ford Motor Co.’s 6.8 L V10 engine equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. The district expects the new propane buses will reduce annual nitrogen oxide emissions by over 31,200 pounds and particulate matter emissions by over 635 pounds compared with the diesel buses that were replaced.
“In addition to the propane buses being a good environmental choice, they are also a good economic choice,” said Brian Carney, executive director of school bus sales and customer support for ROUSH CleanTech. “LISD won’t have to spend additional time and money on preventative maintenance that’s needed for newer-technology diesel buses. Propane buses eliminate the need for diesel exhaust after-treatment systems and a number of other expensive maintenance items due to the clean-burning property of the fuel.”
Currently, the LISD pays $0.73/gallon for propane autogas compared with $1.50 per gallon for diesel. Last year, the school district received a $0.50/gallon federal tax rebate and expects to receive a $0.36/gallon rebate this year.
“In LISD, we constantly look for ways to give our taxpayers a return on their investment, as well as to provide the safest and cleanest-burning technology as possible,” said Stripling. “We firmly feel that the purchase of our propane fleet meets this goal.”
Further, the school district notes that it received a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality financial grant that rebated 60% of the purchase price of the buses.