Grace School District’s new Blue Bird Vision Propane bus is expected to lower operating costs while reducing environmental impact.

Grace School District’s new Blue Bird Vision Propane bus is expected to lower operating costs while reducing environmental impact.

GRACE, Idaho — Grace School District students stepped aboard the district’s first school bus fueled by propane autogas on Wednesday.

The new Blue Bird Vision Propane school bus is expected to lower the district’s operating costs while reducing environmental impact.

“Our new propane school bus offers the economic and environmental benefits we are looking for with new technology that our district is excited to be a part of,” said Lloyd Sorensen, Grace School District’s transportation supervisor.

With other buses, on cold mornings, district transportation personnel have to start them early and let them idle until they are in driving condition for the first pickup. The district’s new propane bus will avoid the additional costs and time for that step because, according to the suppliers, the propane autogas fuel system used in the Blue Bird Vision heats the bus quickly and provides unaided cold weather starts to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Our Blue Bird Vision Propane bus saves both time and fuel costs in harsh climates,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “The Grace School District community will have peace of mind knowing that their children will get to school on time with a bus that’s fuel efficient, cleaner for the environment, and starts up easily at well below freezing temperatures.”

The Blue Bird bus is equipped with Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. Compared to the diesel bus it replaced, the propane model will reportedly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 1,500 pounds per year and particulate matter by almost 32 pounds per year.

“Using propane autogas eliminates the need for costly diesel emissions equipment required on today’s new diesel buses,” said Brian Carney, group account director for ROUSH CleanTech.

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