How Propane School Buses are Fueling the Future

A mechanic working on the underside of a propane school bus

School buses carry our future every day. It is our responsibility to create the best environment possible for the children in our communities. That means not only ensuring their health and safety, but also protecting and sustaining our environment. By making the switch to autogas, propane-powered school buses can do both.

There are many reasons why propane-powered school buses are a great choice for your school district. First, propane costs less than gasoline or diesel. Compared to a diesel bus, propane autogas is 93 percent more cost-effective, costing only $0.19 per mile while diesel averages $0.80 per mile. Propane engines also cost less to maintain since they don’t require as much oil and fluid, or as many filter replacements.

A frequent concern with changing to an alternative fuel source is creating the infrastructure and start-up costs, but converting to propane buses is more affordable than you may think. Propane fueling is the least expensive of all fueling infrastructures, for either traditional or alternative fuels. Propane autogas providers specialize in helping schools choose the right refueling option for their needs, so they can find an affordable solution. Schools can either purchase the equipment over time or pay little or nothing if they contract for multi-year fuel supplies. In addition to these perks, the federal government offers rebates and tax incentives to schools that switch to propane-fueled buses to reduce harmful diesel emissions.

In addition to these savings, propane scores highly in the most important category of all: student safety. Diesel exhaust has been classified as a human carcinogen. Diesel exhaust not only aggravates asthma and other respiratory illnesses, but it can also put children at risk for other long-term illnesses. Students in rural areas may spend more than an hour a day on a bus which adds up to hundreds of hours of exposure to fumes during the course of a year. Propane is much cleaner and safer for use around children. In addition, propane buses are significantly quieter than diesel buses, which allows bus drivers to focus on their jobs, and on the children.

The safety doesn’t stop there. Propane buses meet rigorous safety standards, undergoing side and rear impact tests before approval. Propane buses are powered by a closed-loop fuel system, so there is minimal risk of leaks. Additionally, propane buses come equipped with an automatic fuel shut-off in the event of a fuel line rupture. These safety standards were developed with children in mind, in order to provide the safest ride possible to and from school. Healthy children make for a healthy community – now and in the years to come.

On top of all these benefits, 90% of our nation’s propane supply is produced right here in the United States, so converting to propane helps support American jobs and strengthen the economy, both of which help with laying the groundwork for a bright future. Furthermore, communities that have made the transition to propane buses are often seen as leaders in environmental action, which can attract new businesses and young families who are looking for a healthy place to grow.

All of these benefits make propane a great choice over any existing fuel. With the cost savings that propane brings to schools, more money can be spent on education and classroom resources. With one million kids and counting, transporting students every day in propane school buses across the country makes perfect sense. Propane is the future for our children.

Learn more about propane-powered school buses.