Eleven alternatively fueled school buses are now transporting students in the Metropolitan School District (M.S.D.) of Warren Township, Ind. The fleet represents the largest deployment of propane autogas school buses in the state.

The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses, purchased through MacAllister Transportation, include ten 78-passenger models and one bus outfitted with a wheelchair lift. The buses were placed into service January 2016.

“Better cold weather starts, lower maintenance and fuel cost, quieter buses, as well as better air quality for students, the bus driver and our community were the reasons we chose propane autogas,” Steve Smith, director of transportation for M.S.D. Warren Township, says. “With the fuel’s clean operation, we anticipate longer maintenance intervals and lower periodic maintenance cost.”

The new vehicles replace older diesel models. A propane autogas fuel system, manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech, powers each bus.

Historically, propane autogas costs about 50 percent less than diesel per gallon and reduces maintenance costs due to its operating properties, according to the company. To fuel the buses, the Warren Township district installed two onsite autogas fuel stations with 1,000-gallon capacity each. “Our drivers will feel more confident taking the longer routes and field trips by having fuel conveniently located and available around the clock,” Smith says.

The district joins over 500 other districts nationwide that are powering their bus fleets with propane autogas technology. The Warren Township fleet of alternative-fuel buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 13,600 pounds and particulate matter by about 350 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced, according to ROUSH.

M.S.D. Warren Township is an urban school district located on the east side of Indianapolis. The district serves approximately 12,300 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Click here to learn more about ROUSH CleanTech.

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