Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is set to receive 98 new Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision conventional school buses next month after placing the nation's single largest propane autogas by school district, according to the manufacturer and local dealer Florida Transportation Systems.
"Broward County Public Schools is leading the state with its environmental commitment and paving the way for other districts to choose this proven, versatile and American-made fuel," added Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. "The Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas solution offers the best total cost of ownership alternative fuel school bus."
Roush designs, engineers, manufacturers and installs the propane autogas fuel system for Blue Bird. The Propane-Powered Vision school buses that will be delivered in May include 100-gallon, extended-range tanks with a usable capacity of 93 gallons.
In a statement, Broward County said it expects a six-month return on investment as, historically, propane costs 50-percent less per gallon than diesel and reduces maintenance costs because it is cleaner burning. Each bus will displace about 40,000 gallons of diesel and emit 150,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over their lifetime, which will begin with the 2014-2015 school year.
"School districts are eager for cleaner, lower emissions solutions that also work with their budgets. The Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision and Micro Bird meet these needs with lower fuel and maintenance costs, decreased noise and environmental benefits," said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. "We applaud Broward County Public Schools for their forward-thinking leadership in the state of Florida."
Each bus will travel about 17,000 miles per year, according to Pat Snell, director of student transportation and fleet services.
"We'll be using these buses for our high mileage routes due to the substantial cost and maintenance savings with clean and safe autogas," he added. "Some of the savings will be funneled directly back into the classroom."
The purchase supports the top 10 school district's environmental stewardship program, "Learn Green. Live Green" and qualifies Broward to apply for funding through a state rebate program. The Florida incentive waives state taxes for gaseous alternative fuels, which include propane autogas and natural gas.