30 Propane Buses to Serve Alabama’s Largest School District

Alabama’s Mobile County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, has acquired 30 alternative fuel school buses to support its community outreach program, It Starts With Us. The Blue Bird Vision propane-fueled buses will lower operating costs while improving the environment. “Propane is cheaper, cleaner, and domestically produced,” said Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, who took a test ride on one of the new buses. “This is an environmental initiative I can get behind.”

Each bus will displace about 40,000 gallons of diesel and emit 150,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. “We are pleased to be the very first school system in Alabama to enhance transportation through the use of propane buses,” said school superintendent Martha Peek. Officials rolled out the new buses Aug. 21. Before choosing to fuel with autogas, the district’s transportation department performed a comprehensive evaluation. The process included safety research, a cost savings analysis, site visits to school systems that operate propane buses, and interviews with transportation directors.

“The schoolchildren and taxpayers of Mobile benefit from this important decision,” said Dale Wendell, Blue Bird’s chief commercial officer. “The adoption of Blue Bird propane Vision buses further emphasizes Mobile County Public Schools’ forward-thinking leadership and commitment to reduce fuel and maintenance costs, support a domestically produced fuel, and provide cleaner air for the students and the community.”

During the initial implementation, the school system will monitor the efficiency of the buses and share information with other districts interested in alternative fuels. “The deployment of our propane autogas bus fleet is a perfect example of our school system’s initiative, It Starts With Us,” said Pat Mitchell, director of transportation. “We are providing dependable and clean student transportation while saving taxpayers money so we can put it back in the classroom where it counts.”