Trends in Propane

The Cost-Per-Mile of Propane Buses

propane school bus

Could your school use an extra $7,000? That’s enough to purchase new books, upgrade outdated technology, or contribute toward teacher salaries. Approximately $7,000 is how much a propane-powered school bus could save your school district compared to a diesel bus– $7,000 each and every year.

Studies show that, over the life of the bus, schools can expect to save around $109,000 in operating expenses by switching to propane, and that is just for one bus.2 Multiply those savings across an entire fleet, and school districts will realize new financial resources that benefit students, staff and taxpayers.

Propane used as motor fuel is called “autogas” and is 93% more cost-effective than the cleanest running diesel bus because of lower fuel costs and less-expensive maintenance. Even as fuel prices fluctuate, propane usually costs about 50% less than diesel fuel.¹ Plus, propane engines don’t require all the extra filters, oil and emission fluids that diesel engines do, significantly reducing the maintenance cost for a propane bus over its service life. Propane is a clean-burning fuel which means less wear-and-tear on an engine than a diesel model, translating to less time and money spent on repairs.

Considering these factors, propane buses cost just 19 cents per mile to operate, compared to 80 cents per mile with diesel fuel.2 Most school districts’ buses run hundreds of miles each day. With that kind of mileage, the cost really adds up; saving 60 cents per mile can save the district several hundreds of dollars per day.

The savings on fuel and maintenance more than offset the slightly higher acquisition cost of propane buses. This makes the payback period on a propane bus much shorter than that of a diesel bus.¹

When switching to propane autogas, fueling infrastructure is another benefit. Propane fueling infrastructure is the most affordable of all fuel types, conventional or alternative. Plus, many propane providers will work with schools to come up with affordable fueling options and can even lock in fuel prices.¹

All this may make propane sound too good to be true, but the facts are solid. Districts around the country have switched to propane buses, and many have made it their fuel of choice. Across the nation, thousands of propane buses are on the roads each school day, and they transport more than one million kids safely and quietly.

Student transportation is critical for a school district, and paying for bus operations takes a big chunk out of the budget. Efficient and cost-effective transportation is more important than ever as Missouri’s state reimbursement percentages continue to decline. Propane autogas can be your school’s solution to saving money and having dollars available for other things.

To learn more about propane buses, and see case studies and videos about how they can benefit your district, visit: