Houston Independent School District received a boost to its fleet in the form of more than $2 million towards the purchase of 25 new Blue Bird Propane Powered Vision Type C school buses.
A total of $2,120,500 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas was awarded to HISD to fund 70 percent of the cost of the buses, with the district covering the remainder. The HISD school board was scheduled to vote on accepting the award at a board meeting on Jan. 13.
“These 25 buses have a dual benefit,” said Nathan Graf, HISD general manager of transportation, in a recent statement. “They are considered ‘green’ in that they produce fewer toxins and other smog-producing emissions than gasoline and diesel engines, and they are a smart budget decision because they also lower fuel and operating costs.”
According to TCEQ Grant Development Team Leader Stephen R. Murchison, HISD was awarded a portion of the grant, $1.5 million, through TCEQ’s Texas Clean Fleet program, with the remainder of the award coming from the Railroad Commission.
“I am pleased to announce that HISD received an early holiday present from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Railroad Commission,” said Railroad Commission Chairman Michael L. Williams. “This award will enable HISD to save 50 cents on each gallon of propane thanks to the recently extended federal alternative motor fuel tax credit.”
Congress passed the fuel credit extension as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act on Dec. 16. In additoin to the 50-cent per gallon tax credit, a 30 percent tax credit not to exceed $30,000 is available for offsetting the cost of installaing propane and CNG fueling stations