PHOENIX — Several companies and school districts were honored here on Wednesday with the Sustainability All-Star Award during the Green Fleet Conference & Expo.
The annual award recognizes propane autogas fleets for their leadership in running vehicles on this low-emission, American-made and cost-effective fuel.
Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools, All-Star Transportation, Student Transportation of America, Blue Bird Corp., Brighton (Colo.) School District 27J and ROUSH CleanTech were among the 40 recipients of the award.
“Mesa Public Schools is an alternative fuel leader in its community and nationwide,” said Michael Taylor, Propane Education & Research Council director of propane autogas business development. “The school district’s propane autogas bus fleet is one of the largest and greenest in the nation, displacing 2,789 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Mesa Public Schools has set a goal to become the first district in the nation to run a 100%, all-propane bus fleet. Earlier this year, the district added 61 Blue Bird propane buses to its fleet.
“We’re committed to showing parents and residents in our community that we’re doing everything we can to be fiscally and environmentally responsible,” said Ron Latko, Mesa Public Schools’ director of transportation and vehicle maintenance. “The fuel is green, safe and proven, and we plan to keep converting diesel buses until we run 100% on propane autogas.”
Latko accepted the Green Fleet 2013 Sustainability All-Star Award on behalf of the district. The district was also a recipient of the award in 2012.
John Dufour, an owner of All-Star Transportation, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
This year, All-Star Transportation reportedly became the first school bus company in Connecticut to purchase propane-powered vehicles. The entire fleet of 51 buses serving the Torrington Public Schools is running on the fuel.
“Torrington Public Schools is extremely impressed with the new propane buses provided by All-Star Transportation for the students of Torrington,” said Cheryl Kloczko, Torrington's superintendent of schools. “They are quiet, odorless and allow Torrington Public Schools to safely transport children from home to school and back again.”
Along with propane-fueled school buses, All-Star Transportation also utilizes a half dozen hybrid vehicles for its bus safety monitoring operations, and the company recycles all waste fluids from its diesel vehicles and uses it to heat All-Star Transportation’s three maintenance facilities.
“We continuously seize every opportunity to make our fleet and our company green,” said Leslie Sheldon, operations manager of All-Star Transportation.
In 2013, Blue Bird experienced a four-fold increase in Propane-Powered Vision school bus sales.
In addition, Blue Bird earned the largest single order of propane-powered school buses in industry history with 432 buses deployed in Omaha, Neb. Officials said this large adaptation of alternative fuel school buses through Student Transportation Inc. provides the Omaha community with substantial fuel savings in addition to providing a healthier environment for school children.
Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp., accepted the award on behalf of the company.
“At Blue Bird, we are committed to providing innovative, reliable and efficient green solutions that our customers want and value,” Horlock said. “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Blue Bird and all of our employees.”
The Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision and Propane-Powered Micro Bird G5, equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system and a Ford 6.8-liter engine, meet or exceed all EPA and California Air Resources Board certifications.
For the full list of this year’s Sustainability All-Star Award recipients, click here.
Green Fleet magazine, like SCHOOL BUS FLEET, is a publication of Bobit Business Media.