20 Aug 2019

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADS 155 PROPANE-FUELED SCHOOL BUSES

Students returning to Kansas City Public Schools are riding in brand new propane autogas buses. The majority of the district’s school bus fleet now operates on this emission-reducing, economical fuel. On the outside, the 155 Blue Bird school buses look the same, but it’s their quiet ride and low emissions that attracted the district.

Chris Walls, director of transportation for KCPS. "In addition to reducing emissions, the propane school buses are much quieter. That means the driver can hear and communicate better with the students on board. Plus, the local neighborhood will no longer have to deal with our former noisy diesel bus warm ups at 4 a.m."

Blue Bird states in its press release that recent studies have shown that propane autogas school buses are a proven way to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in American communities. The KCPS propane buses will reduce NOx emissions by over 55,000 pounds and particulate matter by almost 500 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced. The engine is a Ford 6.8L with Roush CleanTech Propane Fuel System, 320 hp with a Ford 6R140 6 speed automatic gearbox.

The district contracted with Student Transportation of America (STA) to acquire the Type C propane buses. "Domestically produced, clean-burning propane autogas is a perfect fit for Kansas City’s school bus fleet," said Doug Gallagher, senior vice president of fleet and maintenance for STA, which has invested millions of dollars in more than 2,000 propane buses across the United States.

In regard to the TCO the fuel is much cheaper. In the USA propane is 50 percent cheaper per gallon compared with diesel. It should ad up to an expected savings of about $500,000 annually. It also anticipates another $55,000 savings each year in maintenance costs. Walls says that every dollar saved in transportation ends up back in the classroom.

KCPS joins over 900 school districts running propane school buses. "The fuel system technology on these buses offers reliable performance in cold weather all the way down to negative 40 degrees", said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales at ROUSH CleanTech, which manufactures the propane fuel system.

The district recently installed a propane station on school grounds that can fuel four buses at a time. Blue Bird Corporation: is an 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. It is the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications.



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