South Carolina invests in 235 propane-fueled school buses

April 23, 2021 By    

The South Carolina Department of Education will receive $23.6 million for 235 new, propane-fueled school buses with funding from the second round of the state’s share of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.

The Department of Education also committed $87,400 to build two new propane fueling stations for the expanded propane school bus fleet throughout the state. The school districts expected to receive buses include: Aiken, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester County School District Two, Greenville, Horry, Lexington School District One, Richland School District One, Richland School District Two and York School District Four.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) Director Ray Farmer announced the state’s total $24.54 million investment in school buses and public transit.

“This announcement shows South Carolina is fully committed to providing the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly school buses in the nation,” Spearman says. “Not only will these new propane buses help ensure over 300,000 bus riders get to and from school safely and on time, it will save taxpayers millions of dollars while drastically reducing emissions.”

McMaster appointed the SCDOI as the lead agency for administering the state’s $34 million allocation under the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust in 2017. In 2019, McMaster announced that $9.33 million would be invested to purchase 78 new propane school buses and four clean energy transit buses under the first round of funds.

“This is an important step toward cleaner, safer transportation for South Carolina,” Farmer says.

The second round of funds will also purchase three electric transit buses for use in Charleston and Florence. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments and the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority will receive funding through the Trust.

“Today marks an important day for our state,” McMaster says. “Director Farmer and his team accepted an immense challenge in determining how these funds should be invested to benefit as many South Carolinians as possible, and they have exceeded expectations. Because of today’s announcement, those in our state who rely on public transit and the children who rely on our school buses will be safer.”

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Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager for North Coast Media, the parent company of LP Gas. She can be reached at

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