Broward County Public Schools Saves Thousands More Than Expected with Alt Fuel Buses

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School district saving 38 cents per mile with propane autogas buses.

Propane Vision School Bus

Broward County Public School Bus Fueled by Propane Autogas.

After researching the direction of school bus transportation, we decided propane was the best fit and the best use of taxpayer dollars.

A recent analysis found Broward County Public Schools Student Transportation and Fleet Services Department reduced its annual operating costs by over $600,000 through the use of school buses fueled by propane autogas.

BCPS began using 98 of the propane autogas fueled school buses, made by Blue Bird, in the 2014/15 school year.

“Providing safe and efficient transportation for our students is always our priority,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The fuel and maintenance savings from our buses using propane autogas has allowed us to reduce our expenses for transporting students to and from school.”

The district paid an average of $1.32 per gallon for propane and $2.75 for diesel over the last year. In addition to fuel savings, annual maintenance costs for the alternatively fueled buses amounted to 80 percent less than for their diesel buses. Propane autogas reduces maintenance costs due to the fuel’s clean-burning properties.

The sixth largest school system in the nation, BCPS operates 1,269 school buses, including the 98 fueled by propane autogas. Each bus travels an average of 16,500 miles per year, transporting approximately 75,000 students.

BCPS expects to save more than $74,000 in operating costs over the 12-year lifecycle of each propane autogas bus, which equates to a 38 cents per mile savings.

“After researching the direction of school bus transportation, we decided propane was the best fit and the best use of taxpayer dollars,” said Patricia Snell, director of student transportation and fleet services for BCPS. “We’ve been thrilled with the savings, as well as the performance of the buses.”

BCPS budgeted for a six-month return on investment of the initial propane engine upcharge, but succeeded in recouping that cost in three months. The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses had an incremental cost of less than 3 percent more than their diesel counterparts.

“The budget-conscious decisions made by Broward County Public Schools means their students ride cleaner, cost-effective buses that emit less harmful pollutants,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech, the manufacturer of the engine fuel system. “Propane autogas is a smart, versatile and American-made fuel choice that is beneficial for all school districts.”

In addition to bottom line savings, the 98 propane autogas bus fleet emits 153,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide and 3,100 less pounds of particulate matter each year compared to the diesel buses they replaced.

The school district has ordered 37 additional propane autogas buses for the 2015/16 school year.

About ROUSH CleanTech: ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Mich. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

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For more information:
Tracy Ruff / TSN Communications
877.411.3243 ext. 809 / tracy(at)tsncommunications(dot)com

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Tracy Ruff
ROUSH CleanTech
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