Press Releases


[image: thumbnail]Berkeley, ILLINOIS (August 28, 2013) — Berkeley School District #87 is starting the new school year with 20 new environmentally-friendly Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses thanks to the recent purchase by Cook-Illinois Corporation from Central States Bus Sales. Providing transportation needs for the district, Cook-Illinois Corporation takes pride with utilizing the most innovative and green school bus technology available.

A key-hand off ceremony was held today where dignitaries from the City of Chicago, Berkeley School District, Blue Bird Corporation, Central States Bus Sales, the Propane Energy Resource Council, AmeriGas and the Chicago Clean Cities Coalition were in attendance as Central States Bus Sales and Blue Bird Corporation presented the keys to the newly delivered buses. The event also offered school buses on display and a fueling demonstration.

Cook-Illinois is the seventh largest school bus contractor in the nation and is no stranger to alternative fuel technology. It has explored various technologies for the past 30 years. In the 1970's, Cook-Illinois was one of the first school bus contractors to power school buses utilizing compressed natural gas. In the early 1980’s, it utilized the industry’s first adaptation of propane technology. Today, Cook-Illinois operates school buses powered by bio-diesel and is the only operator in the state of Illinois to utilize hybrid-electric school buses. Cook-Illinois is the largest family-owned and operated school bus contractor in North America and runs over 2,100 school buses each day. Each day, it safely transports over 400,000 students to school throughout the Chicago metro area and Northern Indiana.

"Cook-Illinois is very excited to provide Berkeley School District with environmentally-friendly school buses utilizing the industry's most innovative propane autogas solution provided by Blue Bird," said John Benish, Jr., chief operating officer for Cook Illinois Corporation. "We are thrilled to get back to powering school buses with propane autogas as it is a safe and efficient source of fuel that is a perfect fit for the yellow school bus industry."

"Blue Bird school buses fueled by propane autogas reduce emissions, lower operating costs, decrease noise and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said John Kwapis, chief operating officer of Blue Bird Corporation. "The Propane-Powered Vision is a smart choice for any school system, and Cook-Illinois is an emerging leader in this technology for the state of Illinois."

The Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision, equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system and a Ford 6.8-liter engine, meets all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certifications. The buses produce 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 12 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide and up to 25 percent less greenhouse gases than gasoline. Customers typically save between $3,000 to $3,500 on fuel per bus each year due to the lower price per gallon of domestically-sourced propane autogas compared to diesel or gasoline. The Propane-Powered Vision is fully customizable for up to 78 passengers, and is a safe and reliable solution for transporting children to school.

For more information regarding Blue Bird’s fleet of propane-powered school buses, visit your local Blue Bird dealer or


Posted on 2013-08-28

As a Blue Bird customer for over 25 years, our district has a solid Blue Bird fleet of the Vision, All American and Micro Bird buses. We choose to standardize our fleet to solely Blue Bird because of the quality of the buses. Our Blue Bird school buses are dependable, our drivers love driving the buses and we receive excellent parts and service support from Blue Bird and our local dealer, New York Bus Sales.
Fred Paye
Director of Transportation
Hilton Central School District
Hilton, NY

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