Propane school buses sustain Pennsylvania family business

December 11, 2023 By    

Snyder Bus Lines, a rural Pennsylvania school bus contractor serving three school districts, maintains a fleet of around 40 school buses, and more than 30 are powered by propane autogas.

Propane bus photo courtesy of Roush CleanTech

Snyder Bus Lines purchases used propane buses that allow reinvestment in business growth. (Photo courtesy of Roush CleanTech)

For Snyder, propane school buses benefit the environment and the family business.

“Propane buses have sustained our family business, offering reliability, cost-efficiency and environmental benefits,” says Jennifer Snyder, co-owner of Snyder Bus Lines. “I’m not sure we would have stayed open through the pandemic without the fuel’s operational savings.”

The company purchases used propane buses that allow reinvestment in business growth. Its oldest Blue Bird Vision Type C propane bus is still operational with few maintenance requirements. Today, nearly all routes in the Everett and Bedford school districts operate on propane.

“Propane buses are the greatest thing that’s ever happened to us,” says Corey Snyder, co-owner of Snyder Bus Lines, which has been family-owned since the 1940s. “They’re truly a great fit for us.”

Snyder Bus Lines partners with AmeriGas to supply its two 1,000-gallon on-site propane stations. The company pays $1.50 per gallon for propane before applying the federal alternative fuel tax credit, which reduces per-gallon costs by an additional 37 cents. Snyder estimates it will use around 130,000 gallons of propane this school year.

Propane buses offer substantial savings in maintenance and operational costs compared to traditional diesel buses, which rely on costly particulate filters and consume more oil, according to the company.

“Our mechanics love them,” says Corey Snyder. “Their cost of operation compared to our diesel buses is amazing. There are definitely fewer maintenance issues with our propane buses than the typical diesel bus.”

A growing trend among school districts and school bus contractors, propane autogas offers the lowest total cost of ownership while helping fleets stay ahead of emissions regulations.

“Propane is the common sense approach – it works and will do the job you need it to while meeting regulations,” says Todd Mouw, executive vice president of Roush CleanTech, the manufacturer of the propane fuel system. “In an increasingly complex world, propane keeps things simple for fleet operators.”

Looking ahead, Corey and Jennifer Snyder plan to continue expanding their propane fleet while maintaining a few diesel buses.

“The customers we serve are very happy, and our drivers and passengers are very happy,” says Jennifer Snyder.

There are about 1,400 propane school buses in operation across Pennsylvania and more than 22,000 in the U.S.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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