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Southland Transportation adds 101 Blue Bird Propane Vision buses to districts in Canada

Southland Transportation (Alberta, Canada) recently added 101 Blue Bird Propane Vision buses to its propane autogas school bus fleet. Districts in Canada are specifying the technology due to the superior cold weather operation, reduced maintenance and clean emissions, the company said. Southland Transportation is a subsidiary of the largest family-owned pupil transportation provider in Canada with operations in school, motor coach and public transportation.

The Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision and Micro Bird, equipped with the ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system and a 362 hp, 457 lb-ft torque Ford 6.8-liter engine, meet all Canadian Environmental Protection Agency certifications. The buses, which are fully customizable, feature 60% less carbon monoxide, 12% less carbon dioxide, 20% less nitrogen oxide and up to 25% less greenhouse gases than gasoline. Propane autogas also costs about 35 to 40% less than gasoline and 50% less than diesel, and installing a propane autogas refueling station costs less than any other transportation fuel.

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The new Propane Vision buses will transport students from the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Medicine Hat School District No. 76.

Southland Transportation first started operating Blue Bird Propane Vision buses in 2007.

The Calgary Board of Education, located in Calgary, Alberta, transports more than 3,400 students to 65 area schools utilizing Blue Bird Propane Vision school buses. Already operating 32 Propane Vision buses, Southland Transportation recently added an additional 59 propane-powered school buses to the district’s fleet bringing the total Propane Vision fleet to 91. The deployment of the new propane autogas buses complements the district’s progressive EcoSite initiative.

The EcoSite initiative is aimed at encouraging and recognizing environmental learning with support for education and action programs targeted to reduce CBE’s environmental footprint. The Propane Vision buses are projected to lower hydrocarbon emissions by 80%.

Propane’s proven performance played a part in Medicine Hat School District No. 76’s choice to deploy a dedicated propane fleet. Located in Medicine Hat, Alberta, the district and Southland Transportation transport 2,500 students to 14 schools with 42 Propane Vision buses. When selecting buses for its new fleet, the district specifically required buses powered by propane autogas due to its clean emissions, exceptional cold weather performance and easy maintenance.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

Years ago, I camped in Zion National Park.  This was not long after private cars had been banned from the upper park and all transport was by (free) park buses.

These buses all ran on propane.  They were quiet, clean and a delight both to ride and to share the road with.  I drafted one on a bicycle ride up the valley and had myself a great time.  I never could have done that behind a diesel bus.

The only way they could improve the system is to go electric.

gorr

I think that it is better than electric because it's less costly even if it pollute a little bit but it depend how the electricity is made in that region. but something is sure is that it's way better than costly dirty suffocating diesel. In paris france the majority of cars are diesel and they are suffering a lot with pollution and high diesel price.

HarveyD

This is an interesting solution, specially for Western Canada regions where NG is plentiful and relatively cheap.

It is certainly an improvement over diesel units.

kalendjay

The emissions ratings, particularly the NOx, beat ethanol by a mile. What are we wasting our time for on corn liquor? Light fracked liquids are where it's at.

It's worth noting that small amounts of propane beef up the deliverable thermal content of methane, of particular importance to biomethane. So plentiful biomass in Canada beats US agrobusiness right there, in terms of stretching the fuel stock.

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