SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Officials from several school bus operations were among those honored for sustainability efforts at the Green Fleet Conference here on Wednesday.
The Sustainability All-Star awards are presented by Green Fleet magazine (which, like SBF, is part of Bobit Business Media). Magazine staff said that they reviewed nominees based on professional longevity, sustainability achievements, innovation in reducing emissions and fuel consumption, and overall industry involvement.
Here are the Sustainability All-Stars who are involved in pupil transportation:
Ronald Latko, director of transportation and fleet management, Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools
Under Latko's leadership, Mesa Public Schools has reportedly reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 802 tons, or 40%, and saved more than $91,000 with propane autogas. The district currently operates 27 propane school buses and one propane pickup truck. Latko said that he aims to convert his entire fleet — 507 yellow buses and 600 white fleet vehicles — to run on propane.
Mark Swackhamer, senior manager of fleet operations, Houston Independent School District
Swackhamer helped the district secure $2.5 million in grants for 27 propane school buses and an 18,000-gallon fueling station. He has also implemented an eco-driving program for school bus drivers, with the goal of a 5% increase in miles per gallon. All diesel units run on biodiesel, reportedly offsetting the district's petroleum use by 105,000 gallons per year. Also, use of GPS and routing/scheduling software enabled the district to reduce its routes by 44 while increasing ridership by more than 1,500 students.
Ronald Bast, president, GO Riteway Transportation Group, Richfield, Wis.
The school bus, motorcoach and airport shuttle operator currently runs 27 propane and hybrid-electric vehicles, with an additional 30 vehicles on order for use by the end of the year. The company is acquiring 75-passenger buses to run on Eaton hybrid systems and is converting shuttle vans and school buses to ROUSH CleanTech propane technology. Other green initiatives include a fleet-wide anti-idling policy and a fuel-conservation program. Riteway's newest building uses efficient lighting and plumbing to decrease energy consumption.
For the full list of 40 Sustainability All-Stars, go here. This was the second annual edition of the awards.