Independence (Mo.) School District anticipates a fuel cost savings of $10,000 within the first year of using its 10 propane buses. - Photo courtesy Independence School District

Independence (Mo.) School District anticipates a fuel cost savings of $10,000 within the first year of using its 10 propane buses.

Photo courtesy Independence School District

Independence (Mo.) School District has added 10 propane school buses to its fleet, along with a propane fueling station.

The district purchased the propane buses and fueling station using a $20,000 rebate from the Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MOPERC) and a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant, according to a news release from MOPERC. The rebate is part of the agency’s Clean Bus Replacement Plan, which has committed $1 million to help Missouri school districts transition from diesel to propane buses.

“We know that transportation budgets are tight. The plan helps districts in the state of Missouri purchase alternatively-fueled school buses that operate on propane, saving the district money while also reducing emissions,” Steve Ahrens, CEO of MOPERC told School Bus Fleet.

Daryl Huddleston, the transportation director for Independence School District, told SBF that his district anticipates a fuel cost savings of $10,000 this year — the district’s first year of implementing propane buses.

“I’m very proud of our transition from diesel to propane as we know it improves operational and financial efficacy for our school district,” Huddleston said. “We also know the propane engines start easier and heat faster than diesel engines, which will make our jobs easier in the winter months ahead.”

Independence School District currently has 115 diesel school buses and looks forward to adding more propane buses over time, according to Huddleston.

In November 2019, MOPERC presented a $20,000 rebate to Student Transportation of America (STA) for purchasing 10 new propane school buses. The buses were to provide service to Kansas City (Mo.) Public Schools.

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