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At the start of this year, more than 12,000 propane
autogas school buses were in operation at public
and private school districts across the U.S., an annual
increase of about 10%, according to figures from the
Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Propane autogas buses now make up more than 45%
of all non-diesel school buses used for pupil transportation.
“First-time adopters of propane autogas school
buses are converting entire fleets after they see for
themselves the advantages propane can offer everyone
involved, from the transportation directors to the bus
drivers to the students riding the propane buses,” said
Michael Taylor, PERC director of autogas business
development. “We expect more districts to turn to
propane throughout 2017 and beyond as transportation
directors learn of the lower total cost of ownership,
cleaner and quieter operation, and better maintenance
experience that a propane autogas bus fleet can
offer a district.”
According to the data, compiled for PERC by
IHS Polk New Registration figures, propane autogas
school buses are being implemented on a national
scale. The buses transport more than 700,000 students
in 600 districts across 47 states. The data shows six
states—California, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Texas, and Wisconsin—each have more than 500 propane
autogas buses in operation within their borders.
Texas, with 2600 buses in operation throughout
the state, operates more than 20% of all propane
autogas buses in the country. New York boasts the
highest number of districts operating on propane,
with more than 50 districts. Five other states—Illinois,
Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas—have more
than 30 districts apiece using propane autogas buses in
Reprinted with permission from Butane Propane News (BPN).
Event commemorates 10th anniversary of meeting to make propane autogas a viable fuel for school transportation departments in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 2, 2015) — A celebration commemorating a decade of propane school buses was held on December 1, 2015 at the Texas Education Agency in Austin to coincide with Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The event was sponsored by the Propane Council of Texas in conjunction with the Propane Education & Research Council and hosted by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. Remarks from Williams and state Rep. Tony Dale highlighted the event.
Citing the vital role propane autogas plays in powering thousands of school buses in school districts across the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has proclaimed the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 as Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The Texas House of Representatives, led by Dale, has issued a resolution celebrating the 10th anniversary of a group that met in Austin to discuss the concept and development of the first factory-built propane bus, expanding the choices for school districts interested in cleaner-burning bus options. Founders of the group were honored at today’s event.
“The state of Texas has accomplished a significant feat in the last 10 years in bringing clean and affordable fuel to so many school districts,” said Curtis Donaldson, president of CleanFuel USA and initial meeting attendee. “It’s a testament to the hard work of many people that, with a little ingenuity, we could bring a better alternative fuel option to school transportation throughout this state — and beyond.”
Since that first meeting in 2005, all three major school bus manufacturers now offer propane-autogas-powered buses. According to the Texas Railroad Commission, more than 2,600 propane-autogas-powered buses are currently in operation in school districts across the state.
More than 400 school districts throughout the United States are operating more than 7,000 propane autogas school buses on a daily basis. In all, more than half a million children ride propane autogas school buses to and from school.
“More and more school districts across the country are facing tighter transportation budgets and they must use their resources more wisely,” said Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council. “Propane autogas school buses help districts lower their fuel budgets, but the benefits don’t stop there. Propane school buses improve passenger safety and reduce harmful emissions compared with their diesel bus counterparts, too.”
Many school districts report saving as much as one to two dollars per gallon with propane, and propane-autogas-powered buses require less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle, saving additional money on upkeep. These cost savings free up transportation budgets and give schools the option of reinvesting that money back into where it matters most: the classroom.
Propane autogas buses keep passengers safe by eliminating harmful carcinogens found in the exhaust from older diesel school buses. They’re also quieter than diesel buses, allowing drivers to hear better when picking up and dropping students off.
For more information on propane school buses, visit www.betterourbuses.com.
About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in the research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com.
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. To find out more about propane autogas, visit www.fuelingtexas.com.