<p>Waterford School District introduced 10 new Blue Bird Vision Propane buses into its fleet. The district joins nearly 30 others in the state that run the propane-powered buses.</p>

WATERFORD, Mich. — A school district here introduced 10 new propane-fueled school buses into its fleet this week.

Waterford School District (WSD) has joined almost 30 other school districts in the state by operating Blue Bird Vision Propane buses.

The propane-fueled buses are expected to enable the school district to save money in maintenance and fuel costs, and to reduce its carbon footprint.

The buses are fitted with propane fuel systems manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech. The systems are Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certified, according to the supplier.

“Prior to joining WSD, I had a very positive experience with propane-fueled buses,” said WSD Superintendent Keith Wunderlich. “School buses operating on propane are environmentally friendly and reliable in cold weather conditions, plus offer cost saving benefits.”

Wunderlich also said that the school district selected propane-fueled buses because they provide the added safety of a quieter running engine and, although the initial purchase cost is higher, the “savings in overall cost of ownership versus a diesel bus is worth the initial cost.”

“Waterford School District joins hundreds of school districts across America making the decision to find fuel alternatives for their buses,” said Brian Carney, executive director of school bus and customer support for ROUSH CleanTech. “Propane is a proven choice that costs about 50% less than diesel per gallon and reduces maintenance costs due to its clean-operating properties.”

Equipped with Ford Motor Co.’s 6.8L V10 engines, the buses emit 80% less smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with diesel, according to Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech.

The buses are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 10,000 pounds and particulate matter by about 315 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced, according to the companies.

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