Alternative Fuels

Number of Propane School Buses in Operation Tops 15,000, PERC Reports

Thomas McMahon
Posted on June 13, 2018
The Propane Research & Education Council now estimates that about 928,000 students ride propane school buses. File photo courtesy IC Bus
The Propane Research & Education Council now estimates that about 928,000 students ride propane school buses. File photo courtesy IC Bus

More than 15,000 propane school buses are now on the road across the U.S., according to new research from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

Using IHS Polk new vehicle registration data through the first quarter of 2018, PERC found that propane autogas school bus registrations have increased 700% in the past five years. That brings the total number of propane school buses in operation to about 15,200.

The new total is up from 13,232 propane school buses on U.S. roads as of November 2017.

PERC now estimates that about 928,000 students ride propane school buses, which are operated by school districts and contractors in 48 states.

PERC also unveiled a new video that highlights the autogas growth in pupil transportation, including the delivery of Blue Bird’s 10,000th propane school bus to Fulton County Schools near Atlanta. The landmark bus was part of the district’s order of 90 Blue Bird propane models before the start of the 2017-18 school year.

“To commemorate this historic milestone for the industry, we created a video that celebrates this benchmark and discusses why propane autogas has had such impressive growth in the school transportation industry,” said Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development at PERC. “An increasing number of school districts around the country are saving on fuel, reducing maintenance costs, and lowering emissions in their communities because of propane autogas school buses, and we don’t see that growth stopping any time soon.”

The new PERC video is available here.

As SBF reported recently, a total of 44,389 school buses were sold in the U.S. and Canada in the 2017 sales year. The majority were diesel (77%), followed by gasoline (16%). Propane accounted for 6% of the total school bus sales in 2017.

At least five different school bus manufacturers now offer large or small propane models as part of their lineups.

Related Topics: alternative fuels, Blue Bird Corp., propane

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
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