School Bus Contractors

First Student purchases 86 Blue Bird propane buses

Posted on June 26, 2012

First Student's 86 new Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision school buses will be used by Portland (Ore.) Public Schools.
First Student's 86 new Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision school buses will be used by Portland (Ore.) Public Schools.
First Student is taking delivery of 86 Blue Bird propane-powered Vision school buses throughout the month of June, which officials said is the largest single order to date of propane-powered buses for Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech.

The buses will be used by Portland (Ore.) Public Schools.

“In their first year of operation, these propane autogas school buses are expected to save $500,000 to $700,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over their diesel counterparts,” said Mark Elias, area general manager for First Student. “Blue Bird is known as a highly durable, quality product. Coupled with ROUSH CleanTech’s technologically advanced propane autogas fuel system, First Student and the Portland community have a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly product for its students."

Officials said that the new Next Generation Propane-Powered Vision reduces carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and total hydrocarbon emissions, and virtually eliminates particulate matter when compared to conventionally fueled school buses. It is powered by a 362 horsepower, 457 lb.-ft. torque Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engine and meets EPA and California Air Resources Board certification standards.

“More and more students are being transported using this clean burning American-made fuel,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “At ROUSH CleanTech, we call it the zero compromise alternative fuel solution because propane autogas has it all — it’s clean, safe, cost effective, reliable, abundant and produced right here in the U.S.”

First Student’s new Blue Bird school buses also include added safety features for the school district’s students and drivers. Automatically activated tire chains deliver traction in adverse weather, and digital camera systems provide mobile surveillance to further passenger safety, track vehicles and analyze routes. The buses are also equipped with an electronic child reminder system.

“We’re delighted that First Student and Portland Public Schools have selected Blue Bird’s unique propane-powered school bus to meet the needs of the market,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “Not only will our propane buses provide significant savings each year in fuel and maintenance costs, Portland’s schoolchildren and the broader community will benefit from cleaner, healthier air.”    


John Roselli recently joined Blue Bird Corp. as director of alternative fuels.
John Roselli recently joined Blue Bird Corp. as director of alternative fuels.
In related news, John Roselli recently joined Blue Bird Corp. as director of alternative fuels. Roselli will work closely with dealers to further promote the Blue Bird propane and compressed natural gas (CNG) product line, while increasing awareness regarding the savings related to these alternative fuel products.

Roselli is a former sales manager at Blue Bird’s California dealer, A-Z Bus Sales Inc., and played a key role in developing the alternative fuel market in California.

Related Topics: Blue Bird Corp., CNG, First Student Inc., propane

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