FORT MYERS, Fla. — As a potential avenue to cut costs, Lee County Public Schools’ finance advisory committee has asked district administration and high school calculus and trigonometry students to calculate whether running buses with less fuel in their tanks will improve fuel efficiency and save money.
District staff and students have not yet begun performing calculations, but The News-Press reports that for a bus with a 65-gallon tank, filling it with 55 gallons, for instance, would reduce the bus’ weight by 70 pounds.
Although the lighter weight could potentially improve fuel efficiency, it could also decrease operational efficiency if drivers had to pump fuel before every shift to keep their tanks at safe levels.
“You want to make sure a bus driver doesn’t have to fill it up twice a day,” Robert Morgan, transportation director for the district’s south and east attendance zones, told The News-Press.
Another cost-cutting option that the district is researching is running a school activity bus on vegetable oil. A high school senior is reportedly spearheading the pilot project.