School Business Affairs February 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2019 21 TRANSPORTATION Three Steps to Transition Your School Bus Fleet to Propane Propane gas is one alternative that can provide multiple benefits. By Ryan Zic T he drive toward alternative fuels can be tricky to navigate. With new fuel and technology options available for school buses, how do you make the right choice for your school district? Propane autogas, the term for propane when used in an on-road engine, has both economic and environmen- tal benefits for school districts. Here are three steps to help you transition your school bus fleet to one alterna- tive fuel: propane autogas. Step 1: Recognize the cost benefits of propane autogas. First, propane autogas costs about 50% less per gal- lon than diesel. In their first year of operation, Upper Moreland School District’s propane school buses saved the Pennsylvania district approximately $77,000 in fuel costs compared with diesel-powered buses. Currently, the district pays $2.32 per gallon of diesel compared with its five-year contracted price of 76 cents for pro- pane—making it 65% cheaper. Second, maintenance costs are reduced. Georgia’s Bibb County School District saves about $3,000 per service for its propane fleet compared to its diesel fleet. The dis- trict’s technicians use about 875 fewer quarts of oil each year by operating propane school buses, and filter pack- ages are half the price. According to Anthony Jackson, Bibb County School District’s transportation director, other savings come in Many districts can realize savings by moving to propane autogas because maintenance costs are much less. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROUSH CLEANTECH