LONG BEACH, Calif. — North Kansas City Schools received national recognition last week for its efforts in sustainable student transportation.
The Missouri district won the Transit and Mobility award at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, held May 1 to 4 in Long Beach. North Kansas City Schools is reportedly the first school district to win the award, which honors “Organizations demonstrating leadership in sustainable passenger transport,” according to the ACT Expo website.
This school year, North Kansas City Schools replaced the majority of its diesel fleet with 124 compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses. The new Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG buses are powered by the Cummins Westport ISB6.7 G engine.
Lon Waterman, director of transportation for North Kansas City Schools, told School Bus Fleet in an interview last year that the move to an alternative fuel ties in with the district’s overall environmental goals.
“The district has looked at green initiatives in other departments, including the building of schools,” Waterman says. “For the board, they felt that transportation was the natural next step.”
Instead of relying on grant funding, North Kansas City Schools carried out its fleet conversion with a comprehensive financing package that included CNG vehicles, fueling infrastructure, and facility modifications.
In a press release about the Transit and Mobility award, the district said that the CNG school buses are saving “thousands of dollars in fuel costs” while cutting emissions.
“Our commitment to saving energy and sustainability is a priority district-wide,” Waterman said. “Receiving this award just lets our employees know their hard work and dedication to going green is noticed and appreciated.”