Necedah (Wis.) Schools saves nearly $5,000 a year on fuel costs with its five Blue Bird VIsion...

Necedah (Wis.) Schools saves nearly $5,000 a year on fuel costs with its five Blue Bird VIsion propane school buses.

Photo courtesy Roush CleanTech

Necedah (Wis.) Schools has experienced significant cost savings after adding five Blue Bird Vision propane school buses to its fleet.

On average, propane fuel costs the district approximately $1.12 per gallon, compared to $2 per gallon for diesel fuel, according to Roush CleanTech, the propane systems supplier for Blue Bird. This means Necedah Schools saves nearly $5,000 a year on fuel costs, and further savings are accrued through less frequent and costly oil changes, according to Roush CleanTech.

Additionally, the propane buses don't have to be plugged in to prevent the diesel from "gelling" (when cold temperatures cause diesel fuel to turn from a liquid into a gel-like substance), which saves the district about $100 per month, according to the propane systems supplier.

“Our district spends a lot of the transportation budget on fuel and maintenance for its diesel buses,” said Tanya Kotlowski, superintendent of Necedah Schools. “With propane buses, the fuel and maintenance savings can go right back to the most important work we do — educating and supporting our students.”

Necedah Schools currently has a total of 13 buses in its fleet, Gregg Voss, a spokesperson for Roush CleanTech, told School Bus Fleet. Scott Darnell, the transportation supervisor for Necedah Schools, also said that this is the third consecutive year the district has added propane buses to its fleet.

The district fuels its propane buses using an onsite, 1,000-gallon propane tank and dispenser installed by its propane retailer — a $10,000 value, according to Roush CleanTech.

Aside from cost savings, the propane systems supplier said that the propane buses are much quieter and run a lot cleaner than diesel, helping Necedah Schools reduce emissions.