SOLDIERS GROVE, WIS. — Over the past two years, North Crawford School District has added Blue Bird propane-fueled school buses to its fleet. These buses lower the district’s carbon footprint, while reducing transportation costs.
“We were spending a lot of money and time on diesel-related repairs, and our research showed propane buses would likely have less maintenance costs,” said Demetri Andrews, business manager for North Crawford School District. “They don’t need the extra emissions products installed like our diesel buses.”
North Crawford School District pays $1.32 per gallon for propane compared with $3.10 for diesel. “Diesel prices are more volatile and difficult to budget for us,” said Andrews. His district contracted with a local propane supplier to lock in the price, making propane easier from a budgeting standpoint.
Equipped with its exclusive Ford Motor Co.’s 6.8L V10 engine, each Blue Bird Vision Propane school bus is powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system. To help emissions, the propane engine is certified to California Air Resources Board’s strict low nitrogen oxide (NOx) level of 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour. That makes it 75 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s current emissions standard, and the cleanest propane school bus on the road.
“Schools that add Blue Bird Vision Propane buses to their fleets love the quiet ride, the cost savings, and the opportunity to improve air quality in their communities,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “Blue Bird’s propane bus offers the cleanest engine in the industry, with the lowest total cost of ownership of any bus on the market.”
The North Crawford buses, which run regular daily routes, have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 3,000 pounds, and particulate matter by about 65 pounds each year, compared with the diesel buses they replaced. Buses fueled by propane virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared with conventional diesel.
“North Crawford School District’s propane school buses are the cleanest operating school buses on the road today and provide a quick return on investment to school districts of all sizes,” said Ryan Zic, director of school bus sales for ROUSH CleanTech. “The low cost of the fuel and maintenance makes adopting propane school buses economically feasible for all school districts.”
The district chose to install an onsite propane station to fuel the buses. The propane company supplied the tank, and the school district paid for the cement slab and electrical hook-up. “The district spent a total of $8,000 in fueling infrastructure costs,” Andrews said. He reports that those costs have already been recouped through fuel and maintenance savings.
North Crawford plans to purchase additional propane-fueled bus in the near future.
About North Crawford School District
North Crawford School District is located in southwestern Wisconsin. The school district has been recognized in US News & World Report Best High Schools, as a Wisconsin School of Promise Elementary and High School, and as a Wisconsin 100 Best Communities. For more information, visit http://www.northcrawford.com
About Blue Bird Corp.
Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications, with its propane-powered, electric and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Que. Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com
About ROUSH CleanTech
ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Mich. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses, as well as compressed natural gas fuel systems for Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800-59-ROUSH.