INDIANAPOLIS — Eleven alternatively fueled school buses will roll out this month for the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren Township, which will reportedly represent the largest deployment of propane autogas school buses in the state of Indiana.
The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses, purchased through dealer MacAllister Transportation, include 10 78-passenger models, and one bus outfitted with a wheelchair lift.
“Better cold weather starts, lower maintenance and fuel cost, quieter buses, as well as better air quality for students, the bus driver and our community were the reasons we chose propane autogas,” said Steve Smith, director of transportation for MSD Warren Township. “With the fuel’s clean operation, we anticipate longer maintenance intervals and lower periodic maintenance cost.”
The new Blue Bird Propane Vision buses replace older diesel models. A propane fuel system manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech powers each bus.
To fuel the buses, MSD Warren Township installed two onsite propane fuel stations, each with a 1,000-gallon capacity. “Our drivers will feel more confident taking the longer routes and field trips by having fuel conveniently located and available around the clock,” Smith said.
“MSD Warren Township joins over 500 other districts nationwide experiencing the benefits of propane autogas technology: lowering operating costs, maintenance costs and emissions,” said Brian Carney, group account director for ROUSH CleanTech.
The propane-powered buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 13,600 pounds and particulate matter by about 350 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced, officials said.
“We are focused on providing innovative and cost effective green transportation solutions for our school district customers,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “We are delighted that through their research, M.S.D. Warren Township determined that Blue Bird’s Propane-Powered Vision bus is the best choice for reducing fuel and maintenance costs while providing cleaner air for the community.”