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Schools surpass 20,000 propane autogas buses this year

November 20, 2020 By    

More than 20,000 propane autogas buses were placed into operation and available to transport students in public and private school districts across the U.S. at the start of the 2020-21 school year, according to new figures from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

School bus photo courtesy of the Propane Education & Research Council

Data shows propane autogas school buses are being implemented on a national scale. Photo courtesy of the Propane Education & Research Council

This is a 10 percent increase from 2019 vehicle numbers, and it’s also the first full school year with propane autogas buses in use by more than 1,000 school districts or contractors, PERC reports.

“It’s encouraging to know that more than 1,000 districts from coast to coast are realizing just how clean, quiet and affordable their fleet can be with propane autogas,” says Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development at PERC. “Propane’s benefits impact everyone: Districts save money thanks to its lowest total cost-of-ownership; students have a cleaner and quieter ride to school; and the community reaps the benefits of propane’s low emissions. It’s no surprise districts are converting their entire fleets to propane autogas.”

The new data, compiled by PERC from IHS Polk new vehicle registration figures, shows propane autogas school buses are being implemented on a national scale. Since 2012, there’s been a 960 percent growth in the number of propane autogas school buses on the road in the U.S., marking a strong eight-year stretch for propane autogas in the school transportation market. The buses transport more than 1.23 million students in 48 states, and 14 states now have more than 500 propane autogas buses within their borders.

Propane autogas school buses are also succeeding with repeat purchases, according to the data. Sixty-three percent of school districts with Type C propane autogas school buses adopt additional propane buses, outperforming other alternative fuels, including CNG and gasoline, PERC notes. Propane continues to be the most popular alternative fuel for the school bus industry.

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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