In a partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department, Los Lunas Public Schools, Magdalena Municipal School District and Moriarty-Edgewood School District have each purchased school buses fueled by propane autogas. The 17 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses will be the first propane buses to operate in the state.
Our district has had to dip into operational monies to supplement our transportation costs over the last eight years. Adopting propane technology will be significantly cheaper in fuel and maintenance costs.—Teresa Salazar, superintendent of MESD
Propane autogas prices average 50% less than diesel and reduces maintenance costs and wear and tear on the engine and components.
The districts’ propane buses emit fewer total hydrocarbons and NOx, and virtually eliminate particulate matter. Exposure to NOx exhaust can have negative health effects on children and is a leading cause of asthma, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Additional savings are available from the extension of the federal alternative fuel excise credit, which covers propane at 36 cents per US gallon and propane fueling equipment up to $30,000 per property. VW Environmental Mitigation Trust and diesel replacement funds can also help districts with propane bus purchases.
The school buses, equipped with ROUSH CleanTech propane fuel systems, will begin operation for the 2020-2021 school year.
More than 1.2 million students across the US ride to school in propane buses, making it the fastest growing nationwide segment of pupil transportation.