School Buses

Propane for NY School Buses

Update: The EPA’s Clean School Bus program closed for applications on August 19, 2022. However, this is projected to be a five year program, so planning for next year can start at any time, the sooner, the better! We can give you a rundown on how to plan for the next funding round expected for 2023. There are many things that have to be considered now, particularly which buses you might want to retire if your district receives an award. Any buses retired must meet certain usage requirements, so it is important to meet these. NYPGA can help you understand the basics of how to plan for this program. As of now, for example, buses are required to be in use an average of three days for the school year, and those with longer routes with higher annual mileage could be better choices to retire. Remember, the intent of the program is to take older diesels permanently off the road.

There are now more than 15,000 propane-powered buses in the country transporting 928,000 children to school each day, and that number keeps increasing.

Many states in the country—including New York—have been adopting alternative energy incentive programs in recent years, resulting in more school districts purchasing propane autogas buses.

New York already has about 681 of these “green” buses on the road; that puts New York among the top 10 states in the country for the most propane-fueled school buses.

New York school districts have gained enormous fuel savings by using propane autogas instead of diesel fuel. Propane historically costs less than diesel per gallon and reduces maintenance costs due to its clean-operating properties.

Propane school buses: a quiet, healthier and safer ride

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 the same power.

Safely transporting students to and from school while navigating through all types of traffic, weather and terrain is a major—and sometimes daunting—task for school bus drivers. Naturally, this job requires focus, so the fact that propane autogas engines are 50% quieter than diesel engines not only makes for a more pleasant ride, but a safer one.

Additionally, buses fueled with propane autogas are crash-tested for impact in the side and rear, meeting rigorous motor vehicle safety standards.

Kids are benefiting from a healthier ride to and from school as well, because propane school buses get an A+ as far as meeting emissions standards is concerned. Studies have shown that, when compared with the diesel buses they have replaced, buses fueled by propane autogas:

  • emit 80% fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons
  • reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions by about 10,000 pounds
  • lower particulate matter by 315 pounds

Please contact an autogas conversion installer or supplier to find out more about the benefits of adding propane autogas buses to your school fleet.