DeKalb Central United Schools, DeKalb County’s largest school district, will replace 12-year-old diesel buses with new Blue Bird Propane Vision buses.
A key player in this project’s happening was Propane AUTOGAS LLC. Owner Mark Gibson. His efforts helped the school board understand how propane could reduce the school’s transportation costs, extend the life of the busses while improving the air quality for the students who ride to and from school everyday.
“Encouraging intentional innovation is one of our key priority areas of our district’s strategic plan. In a time of diminishing resources, we strive to be as innovative and energy efficient as possible,” shared DeKalb Central Superintendent Dr. Sherry Grate. “After researching the data regarding the incorporation of propane autogas fueled school buses in to our fleet, a very deliberate decision was made to pursue this opportunity,”
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions, a cleaner riding environment for students, and reduced maintenance costs for each unit, were reasons cited by the school district for the purchase of the propane autogas buses.
On average, autogas costs up to 50 percent less than diesel fuel and Blue Bird Propane Vision buses start up in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, without needing to be plugged in or having a block heater installed. Another benefit of propane autogas buses is that they are much quieter than their diesel counterparts, so the bus driver can hear the children on the bus and be more attentive. The buses also make less of an impact on neighborhoods.
“As the leader in propane, Blue Bird is committed to providing school districts with a reliable, innovative and proven technology that is favorable to a district’s bottom line,” said Trey Jenkins, vice president of alternative fuels for Blue Bird Corporation. “Like many districts, DeKalb Central United Schools did the research and realized that propane autogas is the best choice for reducing fuel and maintenance costs while providing cleaner air for the community. This is a great decision by DeKalb Central United Schools.”
While DeKalb Central United is the first school district in its area to purchase propane autogas powered buses, across the country hundreds of thousands of students are transported daily to school in buses operating on autogas. It is the most commonly used alternative fuel in the nation and worldwide. Vehicles fueled by autogas comply with the same safety standards as their conventionally fueled counterparts.