STA made the landmark order last year. The single-bus tour will stop at iconic American landmarks on its way to the terminal, raising awareness of propane autogas as a clean, safe, cost-effective and efficient alternative fuel for school bus use, officials said.
“The purpose of the Propane Road Tour is to provide the opportunity for school districts and communities to learn about the outstanding benefits of using propane autogas,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “Communities along the tour route, from Georgia to Omaha, have an opportunity to talk with key industry representatives about the economic, safety and environmental benefits of propane-powered school buses. This bus tour also showcases STA’s commitment to becoming a frontrunner in creating a cleaner environment for the Omaha and Millard Public School Districts that the buses will serve.”
The bus tour begins at Blue Bird’s headquarters in Fort Valley, Ga., on July 11, and ends in Omaha on July 17, with multiple stops in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.
Press events will be held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort on Friday, with guest speaker Atha Comiskey, executive director of Middle Tennessee Clean Fuels, and in St. Louis at the Old Courthouse on Saturday, with guest speaker Steve Ahrens, executive director of the Missouri Propane Gas Association.
“Domestically produced, clean-burning propane autogas is a perfect fit for school fleets,” said Denis J. Gallagher, chairman and CEO of Student Transportation Inc., the parent company of STA. “This large deployment is the catalyst that alternative fuels need to become a viable and reliable fuel source for school transportation. We welcome the opportunity to showcase Omaha to the country as a model community in which private enterprise and public education can partner to create a world-class transportation system.”
Built on a Blue Bird chassis and powered by a Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engine with the ROUSH CleanTech dedicated propane fuel system, the Propane-Powered Vision Type C school bus offers 362 horsepower, 457 pounds of torque and fuel cost savings of 40% to 50% compared to diesel counterparts.
Propane reportedly burns cleaner in engines than gasoline or diesel, which results in less engine wear and tear, and reduced maintenance costs.
Officials said Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses reduce carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and total hydrocarbon emissions, and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared to conventionally fueled school buses. In addition, noise levels on the bus are decreased by as much as 50% compared to diesel counterparts, and since more than 90% of U.S. propane supplies are produced domestically, propane autogas helps to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
“ROUSH CleanTech is proud to partner with Blue Bird on this groundbreaking school bus order from STA,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “With more alternative-fuel buses on our nation’s roads than any other manufacturer, Blue Bird is proving that propane autogas is an ideal and viable option for school districts to reduce their fuel and maintenance costs while lowering emissions.”
Along the route during the Propane Road Tour, the bus will refuel at existing public propane fuel stations.
John Roselli, director of alternative fuel sales for Blue Bird, will be speaking at both press events on the tour. For a full tour schedule, visit www.propaneroadtour.com.
For full information about the Propane-Powered Vision, visit www.blue-bird.com.