Idaho school district begins transition to propane buses

March 17, 2020 By    

West Side School District in Dayton, Idaho, started transitioning its school bus fleet to cleaner-burning alternatives with two new propane buses.

Photo courtesy of Roush CleanTech _ propane buses

Photo courtesy of Roush CleanTech

“Our area has some of the worst air quality in the nation,” says Spencer Barzee, superintendent of the school district. “We are trying to do our part in helping with the air quality.”

The school district chose to replace two buses – one-seventh of its fleet – with propane buses purchased from Blue Bird’s dealership, Bryson Sales & Service, in Washington state. Barzee says Bryson’s Hank Povey educated them on propane buses’ reliability, lower maintenance requirements and costs. Currently, the school district pays $.98 less per gallon of propane, as compared to diesel prices.

Although the district considered other alternative fuels, Barzee says the propane autogas buses were “more affordable and available. The grant reimbursement was better than with diesel, as well. Further, we like that propane won’t gel on us.”

“It’s still early, but all the reports from our drivers have been positive,” says Barzee.

West Side purchased Blue Bird Vision propane school buses powered by a Roush CleanTech propane fuel system. The buses are 90 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest emissions standard, according to Roush CleanTech. The district’s propane buses emit 1,100 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxides and 43 fewer pounds of particulate matter each year compared to the diesel buses they replaced, says the company.

To conveniently fuel the buses, the school district installed an on-site propane station.

About the Author:

Sarah Peecher was a digital media content producer at LP Gas.

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