SAN ANTONIO — Northside Independent School District on Monday received a $66,341.46 grant from Railroad Commission Chairman Michael L. Williams covering 80 percent of the propane option on each of the 16 new Blue Bird propane-powered Vision school buses that the district added to its fleet.
Northside is the first school district in the nation to purchase the propane-powered Vision. The district has been using propane since 1981, and more than half of its 600-bus fleet is powered by propane.
“Northside embraced propane as a fuel for the district’s buses over 20 years ago, and I commend them for their dedication to this clean fuel,” Williams said. “These 16 buses will save money on fuel and reduce children’s exposure to air pollutants by using a cleaner, Texas-produced fuel.”
The grant is part of the Railroad Commission’s Propane OEM School Bus Rebate Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. The buses will be eligible for a federal 50 cent-per-gallon rebate on propane motor fuel, which can bring in about $1,500 per year per bus.
In 2006, Williams joined other clean-air proponents in securing $895,000 for the development and certification of Blue Bird’s propane Vision. It is the first propane school bus offered by a major manufacturer in the U.S. since 2002.