INDIANAPOLIS — Twenty new propane school buses rolled into the transportation center at the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Wayne Township last month.
The new Blue Bird propane buses were funded in part by a $45,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Development.
The district expects to see significant reductions in emissions and operating costs with the propane buses compared to the diesel models that they replaced.
“First and foremost, they are good for students and the environment, because propane produces fewer emissions than diesel fuel,” said Janet Petrisin, transportation director for MSD of Wayne Township. “In addition, operating costs for propane buses are lower, which will save us $700,000 over the 12-year life of these buses.”
As an example of the maintenance savings, propane buses use seven quarts of oil every 5,000 miles, compared to 34 quarts of oil every 8,000 miles for diesel, according to the district. Also, fuel filters for propane buses last longer than for diesel, and no block heaters are required.
“I am very proud of the direction we are taking with the future of student transportation in the MSD of Wayne Township,” Superintendent Jeff Butts said. “Not only does this fit into our ongoing efforts to be more environmentally friendly as a district, it demonstrates our commitment to be fiscally responsible with the tax revenue we receive.”
On April 8, 20 of the district’s school bus drivers brought their old diesel buses to MacAllister Transportation's facility to be traded in. After enjoying lunch and a short celebration, the drivers delivered the new propane buses to the MSD of Wayne Township transportation center.
The propane bus purchase attracted coverage by several local media outlets.