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West Side School District to Help Air Quality with Propane Buses

DAYTON, Idaho — In January, West Side School District, Dayton, Idaho, started transitioning its school bus fleet to cleaner-burning alternatives with its two new propane-powered buses. Why did West Side make this change? “Our area has some of the worst air quality in the nation,” said Spencer Barzee, district superintendent. “We are trying to do our part in helping with the air quality.”

The school district chose to replace two buses, or one-seventh of its fleet, with propane buses, purchased from Blue Bird’s dealership, Bryson Sales, in Washington State. Barzee said Bryson’s Hank Povey educated them on their reliability, and lower maintenance requirements and costs. Currently, the school district pays $.98 less per gallon of propane, as compared to diesel prices.

Although other alternative fuels combat air pollutants, Barzee said propane autogas buses were “more affordable and available. The grant reimbursement was better than with diesel, as well. Further, we like that propane won’t gel on us,” he said.“It’s still early, but all the reports from our drivers have been positive,” said Barzee.

West Side purchased Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses powered by a ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel system. The ultra-low emission buses are 90 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest emissions standard — and the cleanest propane school bus on the road. In fact, 100 propane Vision Blue Bird buses emit fewer emissions than one 2007 or older diesel bus.

The district’s propane buses emit 1,100 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxides and 43 fewer pounds of particulate matter each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced. According to the EPA, exposure to nitrogen oxides can exacerbate health problems like asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory issues. In the developing lungs of children, asthma is particularly problematic because it’s a leading cause of absenteeism.

To conveniently fuel the buses, the school district installed an onsite propane station. Installing a propane autogas station costs less than any other fueling station, including gasoline and diesel.

About Blue Bird Corporation

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, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit

About ROUSH CleanTech

ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of advanced clean transportation solutions, is a division of the global engineering company Roush Enterprises. ROUSH CleanTech develops propane autogas and electric propulsion technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles and school buses. With more than 25,000 vehicles on the road, the Livonia, Michigan-based company delivers economical, emissions-reducing options for fleets across North America. Learn more at or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

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