More than 2,000 propane-powered school buses are now in operation in about 75 Texas school districts, according to a state propane organization.
SBF's most recent school transportation statistics show that Texas has a total of 40,677 school buses, so the propane autogas buses account for about 5% of the fleet. The majority of the propane school buses in the state are Blue Birds.
The Propane Council of Texas reported recently that some school districts in the state are benefitting from a 50-cent-per-gallon tax credit for the alternative fuel through 2013.
Dallas County Schools, an intermediate educational agency that provides transportation services for multiple districts, runs the largest propane autogas school bus fleet in Texas. Thanks to the tax credit, Dallas County Schools has reportedly saved about $500,000 annually.
San Antonio's Northside Independent School District, which has the state's second-largest propane school bus fleet, saved about $225,000 with the credit in 2011. Denton Independent School District recouped $170,000 in the same year.
Jackie Mason, educational and marketing director for the Propane Council of Texas, said that “not only does propane lower harmful emissions and reduce fuel costs, but it has a proven safety record in Texas.”
The council promoted that message last month at the annual convention of the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards.