Fuel and infrastructure tax credits for propane (pictured), natural gas and biodiesel have been retroactively extended through 2014. Photo courtesy Texas Railroad Commission

Alt-fuel tax credits extended

Fuel and infrastructure tax credits for propane, natural gas and biodiesel are among tax provisions that have been retroactively extended through 2014.

Jim Beekman galvanized the Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools transportation department and implemented numerous improvements, which led to increased efficiency, multi-million-dollar savings and high staff morale.

Jim Beekman named SBF’s Administrator of the Year

The industry veteran galvanized the Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools transportation department and implemented improvements that led to increased efficiency, multi-million-dollar savings and high staff morale.

Mark Swackhamer has left Houston Independent School District (ISD) to serve as assistant director of transportation at Humble ISD.

Texas fleet veteran transfers to new school district

Mark Swackhamer, who has been a driving force in implementing alternative fuels, GPS and efficient-driving training at Houston Independent School District, moves to Humble Independent School District to become assistant director of transportation.

Reduced idling, biodiesel and new buses have helped Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools lessen the amount of diesel used by its yellow fleet.

Florida district cuts diesel use by 151K gallons in a year

Orange County Public Schools' combined initiative of anti-idling, biodiesel and fuel-efficient buses resulted in an overall reduction of 151,788 gallons of diesel fuel this past year. The economic benefit was a cost avoidance of $538,847 in fuel costs to the district, and the environmental benefit was a reduction of 1,503 metric tons of carbon matter output.


Texas district’s transportation services honored for sustainability

The Houston Independent School District wins the National Association of Fleet Administrators Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability award for 2013. The district is recognized for its use of alternative fuels and partnership with the University of Houston to test a school bus filter that will convert smog-producing pollutants emitted from engines into water and nitrogen gas.


Congress passes alt-fuel tax credit extensions

The fiscal deal passed by Congress this week includes provisions that benefit fleets that use alternative fuels. The bill, expected to be signed into law by President Obama, extends tax credits for such fuels as propane, compressed natural gas and biodiesel — all of which power many school buses.


Cook-Illinois to expand use of Zonar telematics platform

The school bus contractor currently uses the platform on 900 buses and plans to use it on 1,300 additional buses by the end of this year. The technology is used to track vehicle mileage, speed, idling and stops, and some routes also utilize Zonar’s electronic vehicle inspection report and ZPass for tracking students.


App provides alternative fuel station location data

The Cleaner and Greener Fuels app from Leonardo Academy is available for download free of charge from the iTunes app store, the Google Play store and the Cleaner and Greener website. It provides routes to stations on a series of interactive maps for such fuels as compressed natural gas, biodiesel, propane and electricity.

Phil Downs, manager of fleet services for Columbus City Schools, is pictured plugging in one of the district’s IC Bus hybrid school buses.

Green Fleets Across America 2012

From operating alternative-fueled vehicles to installing pollution-control equipment on buses to reducing idling, pupil transportation operations are doing their part to provide a healthy and safe ride to and from school for students. Here, we provide details on these and other environmentally friendly practices at school districts and contractors throughout the country.


Company helps Calif. district ‘green’ fleet with biodiesel

Buster Biofuels partners with Legoland California, the San Diego Padres and other entities to collect their grease and oil, recycling it into biodiesel to power San Dieguito Union High School District buses. The district is currently powering two buses with a B20 biodiesel blend and plans to eventually run its entire fleet on the fuel.

Medford Township Public Schools bought this bus in October of 1997 and began filling it with B20 biodiesel the next month. More than 13 years later, the bus has logged 190,000 miles.

N.J. district ran bus on biodiesel for 13 years

Medford Township Public Schools was reportedly the first in New Jersey to run a school bus on B20 biodiesel. Joe Biluck, who was fleet manager at the time, tells SBF that the bus has never had any major engine work — it’s only being taken out of service because of the state’s mandatory retirement age.

Napa (Calif.) Valley USD Transportation Director Ralph Knight plans to power the district’s hybrid buses using solar energy.

Getting Lean, Clean and Green

As school districts face growing budgetary concerns, fleet operators are cutting costs by using green technology and implementing eco-friendly policies.

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