KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A state council awarded a rebate to a school bus company for its purchase of propane buses to serve a local school district on Tuesday.
The Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MOPERC) presented Student Transportation of America (STA) with a check for a $20,000 rebate for its acquisition of 10 new propane school buses, according to a news release from the council. The Type C Blue Bird Propane Vision buses are in service throughout the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) district.
The rebate presented to STA is part of MOPERC’s Clean Bus Replacement Plan, which has committed $1 million to help Missouri school districts transition from diesel to propane buses, according to a news release from the council. The plan offers rebates of $2,000 per propane bus, up to 10 per district or contractor, at the time of delivery.
Representatives from STA, Blue Bird, and Roush CleanTech were in attendance during the check presentation ceremony on Tuesday at STA’s Kansas City location.
“MOPERC’s Clean Bus Replacement Plan can benefit dozens of school districts and communities throughout the state regardless of location,” said Steve Ahrens, president and CEO of MOPERC. “We’re offering these rebates to leverage funding to school districts and bus contractors that adopt propane buses, either through Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funds or on their own. For the current fiscal year, we’ve reserved 27 propane bus rebates under the MOPERC plan.”
KCPS contracted with STA to acquire the buses. The district expects to save about $500,000 annually in fuel costs, and another $55,000 savings each year in maintenance costs.
“By helping STA lower its acquisition cost of these propane school buses, the school bus contractor can then help KCPS lower its operating costs with lower fuel and maintenance costs,” Ahrens added.
STA ordered a total of 155 propane buses for its Kansas City fleet, and about 20% of the school bus company’s entire fleet is made up of propane school buses, Douglas Gallagher, the senior vice president of fleet for STA, told School Bus Fleet.
“STA has made a significant investment in adopting propane school buses for KCPS and other school districts across the country,” said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales at Roush CleanTech, which manufactures the propane fuel system for the Blue Bird Vision. “And, it’s state and federal funds, like MOPERC’s and Volkswagen’s [Environmental Mitigation Trust funds], that create further opportunity to acquire this clean-operating technology.”