CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A local school district has added 28 new Blue Bird Vision propane school buses to its fleet for the 2019-20 school year.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools made the announcement about its new buses during a transportation briefing on Aug. 14, according to a news release from the district. The district’s superintendent, Earnest Winston; executive director of transportation, Adam Johnson; and Tucker Perkins, the CEO of the Propane Education and Research Council, were all in attendance.
During the briefing, Winston said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be making history with the new propane-powered buses, which are designed to improve air quality and provide a healthier ride for students. With the addition of the alternative-fuel buses to its fleet, the district will be using more propane buses than any other school district in the state, according to the news release.
“We commend CMS for its decision to provide students with a propane bus that is safe and quiet for students and cleaner for the environment,” Perkins said. “Propane is an important part of the emerging clean energy economy, and it is an important part of America’s clean energy mix.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools currently has more than 31,000 school bus stops in the morning and 31,500 in the afternoon. This year, approximately 127,000 students are expected to ride on the district’s total 1,088 buses.
Winston encouraged families to use the district’s bus system and to exercise patience with schedule adjustments in the first few weeks. He also asked parents to reinforce safe habits with their children and for neighbors and motorists to be vigilant as students are traveling to school.
“We want to assure families that safety is our top priority,” Winston said. “We’ve seen a major improvement in all aspects of CMS transportation services, and we are working to ensure that all school buses are safe, prepared, and ready to roll.”
In addition to the new propane buses, the district will begin its second year using the Here Comes the Bus mobile app, a free bus tracking system that gives real-time bus locations and notification alerts to students and parents. The district is also relaunching Gus the Bus, a talking school bus to teach students about safety — which was on display at the briefing.