LEANDER, Texas — A school district here has added 24 propane-fueled buses to its fleet after receiving grant funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
Leander Independent School District’s new Blue Bird Vision Propane buses are equipped with Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine and Roush CleanTech’s propane fuel system, and produce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at 0.05g NOx.
“The impact of our school bus fleet on the environment is a big concern because many of our community members live in an environmentally sensitive area,” said Ann Hatton, director of transportation for the school district. “They appreciate that our school district is adopting a cleaner transportation option in propane.”
The school district, which has operated Blue Bird’s propane-fueled buses since 2008, has obtained multiple grants over the years. This year, Leander ISD received $740,000 in funding from TCEQ.
“Leander ISD received grants from both TCEQ and Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance, because propane buses reduce harmful emission around its students, drivers, and community,” said Ryan Zic, director of school bus sales for Roush CleanTech. “These buses will also lower the district’s fuel and maintenance costs significantly over their lifetime by operating with domestically produced propane autogas.”
The district's 127 propane buses are also expected to reduce harmful NOx emissions by more than 130,000 pounds and particulate matter by almost 3,000 pounds annually, according to Roush CleanTech.
In addition, Hatton said the district’s technicians benefit from the lack of exhaust fumes in the maintenance bays. She also noted that the district’s drivers appreciate the propane buses’ “get up and go” performance.
“It is very rewarding to see this school district continue its commitment to adopting propane school buses,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corp. “Our number one goal is the safety of the students we transport, and we feel that further reducing emissions achieves this goal.”
Thirty percent of Leander ISD’s current fleet operates on propane, and the district plans to double its number of propane buses over the next five years, according to Roush CleanTech.