Press Releases

BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHIFT TO PROPANE BUSES

School district purchases 86 clean-operating Blue Bird Propane Visions with smaller 169-inch wheelbase

FORT VALLEY, Ga. (May 21, 2015) — Boston Public Schools will operate 11 percent of its bus fleet with Blue Bird propane autogas buses, starting with the 2015-2016 school year. The school district is purchasing 86 Blue Bird Propane Vision school buses, and hopes to convert more of their diesel fleet to propane buses in the future.

 

Like many urban cities, Boston has implemented mandates for reducing tailpipe emissions. The school district, already the city’s largest user of diesel fuel, has enacted a number of emissions-reducing initiatives in the past 15 years through its “Greening Boston Public Schools” program. School buses fueled by propane autogas fit with their mission to choose vehicles with the highest efficiency and the lowest environmental emissions, according to Peter Crossan, fleet and compliance manager of Boston Public Schools.

 

“These new Blue Bird Propane Visions mean many students will no longer be exposed to diesel fumes when boarding or disembarking our buses,” said Crossan.

 

The new buses are powered by a Ford V10 engine, each come equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system. The district’s autogas fleet will emit 66,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide and 2,700 fewer pounds of particulate matter each year, when compared to the diesel buses they are replacing. Vehicles fueled by propane autogas emit 80 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared to conventional diesel.

 

Boston Public Schools started exploring alternative fuels once the city’s outdated tunnel restrictions were lifted. About 40 percent of its fleet consists of 169-inch wheelbase buses. This smaller bus size meets the district’s need related to range and hours of service, which averages almost twice the national average on a daily basis, according to Crossan.

 

“At Blue Bird, we designed and engineered a propane autogas fuel system on the short wheelbase buses to meet Boston Public Schools’ operating needs, ” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “Plus, Blue Bird Propane Visions offer the great city of Boston the added benefit of reducing its carbon footprint.”

 

The 169-inch wheelbase bus is designed with a 50-gallon sized tank to accomodate shorter runs, and works well for Boston’s urban routes and special needs applications. This new autogas bus offering expands Blue Bird’s propane autogas portfolio, which also includes the 70-gallon standard and 100-gallon extended-range autogas tanks.

 

The school district also expects to save at least $1 per gallon on fuel as well as lower maintenance costs due to the cleaner burning properties of propane autogas.

 

To fuel the buses, Boston Public Schools has contracted with a company that performs on-site propane autogas fleet fueling services. “We want other school districts to know that on-site infrastructure isn’t the only option when introducing propane autogas into their fleet,” said Crossan.

 

The school district will take delivery of the buses in June.

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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