Missouri school district purchases 11 propane-fueled buses

May 17, 2021 By    

Missouri’s Independence School District invested in 11 Blue Bird propane autogas-fueled school buses and installed a propane fueling infrastructure.

The school district, located near Kansas City, Missouri, was previously utilizing diesel-powered buses but wanted to lower costs as well as harmful emissions.

“I think cost and emissions both certainly played a role in our looking at propane,” says Daryl Huddleston, director of transportation for Independence School District. “Although at the time, the price of diesel was pretty low, the clean energy was intriguing, and we thought it was a good thing to look at for the community and district as well.”

With 30 buildings in the district and approximately 9,500 students, Independence School District runs about 100 routes per day. Affordable infrastructure cost was a key to the adoption of propane, according to the Missouri Propane Education & Research Council (MOPERC).

Independence School District chose to partner with propane retailer Ferrellgas to build the fueling infrastructure and provide the fuel for its propane-fueled buses. The district now has one station with two fuel pumps and an 18,000-gallon tank at its transportation facility, and the buses are fueled every other day based on a schedule, MOPERC says.

Independence School District received multiple funding sources to purchase the propane-fueled buses, including a $20,000 rebate from MOPERC and a grant from nonprofit organization Leonardo Academy.

In addition, the district estimates $2,000 savings in fuel cost per bus each year and says it intends to grow its autogas-fueled fleet.

“We plan to add 10 more propane buses hopefully very shortly, and to add as the budget allows us,” Huddleston says. “Our hope is to add 10 per year over the next five to six years.”

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About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) was the managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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