The Tippecanoe School Corporation in Lafayette, Ind., received approval from the school board to purchase four new propane-powered conventional school buses and to pursue a $500,000 alternative-fuels grant.
The district already has installed the necessary fueling infrastructure that is required before the department can move forward. Transportation Director Kevin Neafie said Tippecanoe is interested in four 78-passenger Blue Bird Type C Vision buses.
Tippecanoe will also submit a competitive grant to Indiana’s Community Conservation Challenge (CCC), a program that offers financial assistance to non-residential entities for projects that reduce an organization’s energy consumption. The grants range from $25,000 to $500,000 for the implementation of “highly leveraged, unique and visible community energy conservation projects,” Neafie told School Transportation News. Tippecanoe looks to use the funds to also purchase two fleet vehicles this year as well as purchase one of the Type C conventional school buses, a Type A activity bus and a cafeteria transit vehicle next year.
CCC projects must demonstrate measurable improvements in energy efficiency or renewable energy, result in a reduction in energy demand, fuel consumption or petroleum use, or involve the implementation of an energy recycling process. Alternative fuel vehicle fleets are one of 11 eligible technologies. While matching funds are not necessary, Neafie added that successful applicants will leverage local funds to complete projects.
Ferrel Autogas already provided $50,000 for the infrastructure and conversion cost of the vehicles and another $30,000 for related pump and tank equipment costs. Other partners include Brand Electric, which provided the electrical hook up of the infrastructure, MacAllister Power Systems, the data and security access installer for the Gasboy tower, and 848 Sign Company to provide decals.