Valdosta City Schools Purchases Propane School Bus

From Left: Mark Belcher (Bus Driver), Archie Brass (Blue Bird Company), Edward Collins (Transportation Supervisor), Jenna Van Harpen (Blue Bird Company, Driver Trainer), Jeff Cliett (Amerigas Company), Dr. Alvin Hudson (Assistant Superintendent) Uran Yearby (Maintenance Supervisor)
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By: Valdosta City Schools
March 24, 2015

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Valdosta City Schools’ (VCS) transportation department is looking for new and inventive ways to make a smaller foot print on the environment; and propane is a step in the right direction. Propane produces 60% less carbon monoxide, 12% less carbon dioxide, 20% less nitrogen oxide, and up to 25% less greenhouse gases. Valdosta City Schools has just received their first propane bus. At the March 23 Valdosta Board of Education meeting an additional 10 more were presented to the board for purchase. The final vote will be held at the April 13 meeting.

The Environmental Protection Agency classifies propane as a non-contaminant of air, land, and water. The infrastructure of clean propane autogas is easier to install and more affordable than gasoline, diesel, or CNG. The Valdosta City Schools transportation department has received training from Blue Bird and AmeriGas representatives. AmeriGas (propane supplier) has partnered with VCS to provide onsite refueling. Blue Bird is the clear leader in alternative fuel with over five times the number of alternative fuel school buses than all other makes combined.

The transportation department is eager to start saving money on fuel. With proper training techniques, customers have reported saving $.37 per mile. This type of savings has the VCS transportation supervisor, Edward Collins, very excited about the new propane bus. The transportation maintenance team is excited as well. They will be working on a Ford engine by Roush that delivers outstanding power in mountainous terrains and in the city. The transportation department plans to see its biggest savings in the propane engine maintenance repair cost compared to diesel engines. All parts for future repairs will come from the local Ford Company.

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