Propane Buses Give NY School Districts Big Savings

propane bus savings new yorkThere’s a reason why more school districts across the country have embraced propane autogas for their bus fleets.

At the start of the 2020-21 school year, more than 20,000 propane autogas buses in more than 1,000 school district were being used in fleets at both public and private school districts. That’s an annual increase of about 10% and the first full year that the number of school districts using propane-powered school buses have topped 1,000 school districts or contractors.*

Since 2012, there has been an outstanding 960% growth in the number of propane autogas school buses on the road in America. All told, these buses transport more than 1.2 million students in 48 states. What’s more, 14 states each boast in excess of 500 propane autogas buses.

Repeat purchases of propane autogas school buses are another trend. Data show that more than 60% of school districts with Type C propane autogas school buses put additional propane buses into use. That makes propane the most popular alternative fuel for the school bus industry.

The reason for this continued growth? It’s the combination of cost-savings and environmental benefits that school districts realize.

Propane School Buses And New York State

For New York’s part, our state already has more than 730 of these “green” buses at nearly 100 school districts/contractors.

According to the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), an estimated 634,000 pounds of emissions could be reduced per year if 2019 propane-powered buses replaced the state’s 2007-2014 model year diesel-fueled buses. Emissions would be reduced even further if model year 1992-2006 diesel buses were replaced by new propane models.

School districts in New York and across the country have gained enormous fuel savings by using propane autogas instead of diesel fuel. It’s estimated that the cost per mile for a propane school bus is 19¢, compared to 80¢ per mile for a “clean diesel” bus.

Additionally, propane-powered school buses perform better in cold weather than diesel-powered buses. They start more easily and heat the interior faster so that windows are defrosted quickly. The alternative fuel engine also is quieter than a diesel engine but packs a similar amount of power.

Engine Conversions, Fueling Stations And Deliveries

If you’re interested in powering your fleet with propane, your local propane company can help. Ask about converting your vehicles, setting up a propane fueling station at your property or arranging for on-site fueling on a regular schedule. Your propane company may even be able to help you qualify for alternative fuel incentives to help you save even more!

*Based on data compiled by the Propane Education and Research Council from IHS Polk new vehicle registration figures.