The Metropolitan School District of Warren Township in Indianapolis will roll out 11 new alternative fuel school buses this month. It is the largest deployment of propane autogas school buses in the state.
The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses will replace older diesel models. Ten of the buses are 78-passenger models and one is outfitted with a wheelchair lift. The district also installed two onsite autogas fuel stations, each with a 1,000 gallon capacity.
"Better cold weather starts, lower maintenance and fuel cost, quieter buses, as well as better air quality for students, the bus driver and our community were the reasons we chose propane autogas," said Steve Smith, director of transportation for M.S.D. Warren Township. "With the fuel’s clean operation, we anticipate longer maintenance intervals and lower periodic maintenance cost."
The district says historically, propane autogas costs about 50 percent less than diesel per gallon. The fleet will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 13,500 pounds and particulate matter by about 350 pounds each year.
Over 500 school districts across the country use propane autogas technology, according to ROUSH CleanTech, which manufactured the fuel system.