LIBERTY, Mo. — The Missouri Propane Education & Research Council presented Liberty Public Schools a check for $20,000 for its purchase of 10 new Blue Bird propane autogas school buses. The emissions- and cost-reducing propane school buses are currently in service for the district’s daily and activity routes, which have decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By choosing propane buses, we are seeing dramatic cost savings. Money saved in transportation becomes available for other education expenses related to the classroom,” said Jeff Baird, transportation director for Liberty Public Schools. “Taking care of our students’ needs is top priority because they’ve sacrificed so much during the pandemic, and our propane buses help us do that.”
Baird heard about the benefits other school districts in the area experienced after switching to propane school buses. Liberty Public Schools’ most recent diesel price is $1.86 per gallon, while locked in at $0.79 per gallon for propane. He says the district expects to cut its fuel costs by 35% on propane buses.
“There are now more than 300 propane school buses operating in Missouri. Liberty Public Schools joins other districts across the state not only experiencing the economic benefits, but also improving the health of its students, drivers and community,” said Steve Ahrens, president and CEO of MOPERC. “These buses are clean-operating and eliminate strong-smelling fumes and harmful tailpipe emissions found with diesel buses.”
The rebate presented to the school district 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. The plan offers rebates of $2,000 per propane bus, up to 10 per district, at the time of delivery. “By helping Liberty Public Schools lower its acquisition cost of these propane school buses, the district is lowering its transportation operations costs with lower fuel and maintenance costs,” Ahrens added.
In addition to its Clean Bus Replacement Plan, MOPERC offers a Zero Percent Financing plan where districts can get 0% interest loans through lease purchase financing up to $300,000.
Liberty Public Schools, which received its new buses in early January, is in the process of installing an on-site fuel station with an 18,000-gallon tank. Representatives from Liberty Public Schools, Central States Bus Sales, MOPERC and CHS, Inc. attended the check presentation on Feb. 19 at the district’s Support Services building.
The Missouri Propane Education & Research Council is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the Missouri Legislature. Dedicated to propane education and public awareness, MOPERC provides industry training, consumer safety, appliance rebates and market development programs. The council is composed of 15 volunteer directors and administered by an executive staff. Visit PropaneMissouri.com for more information.