Alternative Fuels

Ariz. district sees increased savings with propane buses

Posted on May 9, 2012

PHOENIX — Mesa Public Schools continues to see benefits from running buses on propane, the most recent of which is a savings of 32.6 cents per mile, according to a case study from Blue Bird Corp. and ROUSH CleanTech.

SBF reported in February that the district was realizing a savings of about 25.1 cents per mile with its Blue Bird Propane-Powered Micro Bird Type A school buses. The district also reported that the buses’ fuel economy has been nearly identical to that of their diesel counterparts.

The district’s fleet now includes 21 Blue Bird Propane-Powered Micro Bird Type A school buses as well as six Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision Type C school buses. The case study not only reports on the new savings-per-mile figure, it indicates that Mesa Public Schools is seeing $5,667 in fuel savings per bus annually and 60% fuel savings per gallon when compared to diesel-powered buses.

Changes in federal emissions regulations first prompted Mesa school officials to consider alternatives to diesel in their fleet.

After it was arranged for a propane bus to be test driven by the district’s technicians, Ron Latko, director of transportation and vehicle maintenance for Mesa Public Schools, and his team developed a savings calculator to see if making the switch to propane was affordable. The team discovered that the $2.06 per gallon fuel savings would total $61,130 per year, and with lower maintenance costs and the potential for longer engine life, Latko estimated an additional $4,000 savings over the lifetime of the bus.

“I’m conservative when I run numbers, and the savings were amazing,” he said. “Not only with fuel and maintenance, but the initial upfront costs were also considerably cheaper than comparable diesel-powered buses would have been. We’re saving a total of 32.6 cents per mile with propane autogas.”

“Blue Bird has been producing propane-fueled school buses since 2002,” added Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “Our Propane-Powered Micro Bird and all-new Propane-Powered Vision, launched just a couple of months ago, set new standards in quality, reliability and innovation. Propane technology is green, safe and proven — and provides substantial savings in fuel costs, year after year.”      

Mesa Public Schools is interested in purchasing propane-powered vehicles for its white fleet as well. With a Ford ROUSH CleanTech F-250 propane pickup truck on order, the district plans to purchase more in the future.  

To read the case study in full, click here.

Related Topics: Blue Bird Corp., propane

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Product

Suspension Systems

CLASS suspension systems for buses are designed to provide a smoother and safer ride for passengers.

Product

Diamond File Set

The 8-inch industrial Diamond File Set is designed to cut faster, smoother, and cleaner for a better finish. 

Adomani completed its Regulation A common stock offering and is listed on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “ADOM.” 
News

Adomani Becomes Publicly Traded Company

The electric and hybrid vehicle solution supplier completes its Regulation A common stock offering and is listed on Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “ADOM.” 

On April 19, the EPA announced a new round of DERA funding and another $23 million was recently added, for a total of $34 million.
Article

DERA Escapes Budget Cuts (Again)

DERA’s latest escape from the budget axe is a testament to its broad support in multiple industries and on both sides of the political aisle.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!