No, that’s not a typo on the
cover of this issue.
If you’ve been reading
SBF for at least a year, you’re
probably familiar with our Great
Fleets Across America series.
Hard to believe, but we’ve been
recognizing school districts and
contractors from all over the nation
with the Great Fleets banner
This year, we’ve decided to add a twist to
the tradition: The feature has been rechristened
Green Fleets Across America.
As the name suggests, this special edition
focuses on school bus operations’ environmental
efforts — emissions-reducing equipment,
alternative fuels, anti-idling policies,
recycling programs and more.
As you read through the profiles of these
10 Green Fleets, you’ll likely see some familiar
endeavors, such as retrofitting older
buses with diesel particulate filters, using
GPS and software to increase route efficiency,
or running the fleet on biodiesel. Hopefully,
you have some of these types of practices
in place at your own operation.
But I think you’ll also be surprised by
the more unusual and innovative green efforts
that some of these operations have
For example, did you know that shredded
paper can take on a new life in a barn?
At Red Lion Bus Co., one of the part-time
school bus drivers is a farmer who
takes shredded paper home to his cows
and horses for their stalls.
And at Kip’s Bus Service, they use their
shredded paper as nesting for their own
Many paths to green
Going green isn’t a new phenomenon
in our industry. Some
operations have been powering
their buses with cleaner-burning
fuels, like propane or CNG, for
more than a decade.
Many environmentally friendly
practices end up saving money as
well. For example, anti-idling policies
cut fuel consumption, which reduces
emissions and, of course, dollars spent.
Going green is becoming more inevitable.
The EPA’s 2007 regulations for new diesel
engines mandated a more than 50-percent
reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and
a 90-percent reduction in particulate matter.
The engines must also run on ultra-low sulfur
diesel, which has no more than 15 parts
per million (ppm) of sulfur versus the previous
standard of 500 ppm.
With the fast-approaching 2010 requirements,
emissions will be brought down
even further — to near-zero levels of NOx
and particulate matter.
Going green has also become easier with
the array of alternative-fuel school bus options
from the large bus manufacturers.
IC Bus offers its Hybrid CE school bus,
which can be a charge-sustaining or charge-depleting
Thomas Built Buses has a forthcoming Hybrid
Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus, and it already
offers a Saf-T-Liner HDX powered by CNG.
Blue Bird offers its propane Vision school
bus, and its All American is available as a
And as many in the industry have
pointed out, a school bus can replace dozens
of cars on the road, which is good for
the environment and good for anyone
who hates traffic.