PARRY SOUND, Ontario — Twenty new school buses fueled by propane autogas are going into operation in the Parry Sound area on school bus routes operated by Hammond Transportation.

The family-owned school bus and motorcoach operator purchased the Blue Bird Propane Visions buses from Girardin Blue Bird of Brantford. Each bus is equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system.

Hammond Transportation recently installed a propane fueling station at its Parry Sound bus depot. Other up-front costs included the propane conversion of the buses, driver training, and additional training and licensing requirements for mechanics.

“This is a bit of a pilot project for us,” CEO Greg Hammond said. “We have done a lot of research on this project, and we are confident that the propane buses won’t cost us more in the long run. We know that these buses will be better for the environment both short and long term. They really make sense on every level for us.”

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the company pointed to lower maintenance costs as one of its reasons for purchasing propane school buses. Cold-weather start performance is another factor: The propane buses will reportedly start in sub-zero temperatures without the need for engine block heaters or fuel additives.

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