IC Bus is now in production with the CE Series Gasoline Type C school bus. The CE Series with the PSI 8.8L gasoline engine is purpose built and designed for stop and start operation, featuring similar power and performance to diesel, which allows for immediate acceleration after stops and greater hill climbing capacity. “We know our customers want a choice in powertrain options and our new gasoline-powered bus will be just another example of how IC Bus is responding to market demand,” commented Trish Reed, vice president and GM of IC Bus.
As fleets look to buy new buses, many approach a bid with a concerted effort to get the cost of the individual buses down as much as possible. After all, who doesn’t like to walk away from a good deal? With most districts are concerned with the “here and now” of an annual budget, it is very easy to lose sight of the costs that are created over the life of the vehicle. School buses have an average life of 10-15 years. That’s a long time to consider not only fuel costs, but also the cost of maintaining the vehicle, and replacing necessary parts.
Ask a group of student transportation drivers this question: "How many of you drive students with special needs?" You'll see a few hands go up from people who are thinking specifically of their assignment on a vehicle with a wheelchair lift, special restraints, or similar equipment. But then ask the same group, "How many of you drive a student with autism? With peanut allergies? A student who's experiencing homelessness? A student in a difficult custody situation with pickup restrictions?" Eventually almost every hand will be in the air. When you dig into it, most of the students being transported to school every day have a unique need that the district and drivers must be aware of at all times.
One of the most important decisions regarding a bus purchase is the type of fuel to choose. There is a lot of conflicting information out there today...those that say alternative fuels are not worth pursuing, or that diesel is going the way of the dinosaur. The fact of the matter is, each fleet may operate a different fuel type in order to achieve their best total cost of ownership, or TCO.
It's an ongoing debate: which fuel type provides the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) to school bus fleets. Opinions abound on all sides of the matter. A gasoline-powered bus has a low initial purchase price, so it must have the lowest TCO. Propane fuel costs much less than clean-diesel, so a propane-powered bus must have the lowest total cost of ownership. And compressed natural gas (CNG) buses have a high initial purchase price, but advocates contend that after the initial cost is recouped, the savings on CNG fuel contribute to a low total cost of ownership.
Shelbyville Central Schools in Indiana is using Transfinder’s flagship routing solution, Routefinder Pro to help make bus stop locations safer for their transitional community and to reduce student pickups at intersections.