Chicago Students Ride to School in Blue Bird Buses

Students in Chicago are riding in environmen­tally friendly propane autogas school buses thanks to local school bus contractor Sunrise Transportation. The Blue Bird Corp. Vision buses are providing lower fuel and maintenance costs and reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint. A key hand-over ceremony was held Aug. 28 attended by Chicago officials and representatives of Blue Bird, Central States Bus Sales, the Propane Education & Research Council, AmeriGas, and Chicago Clean Cities.

Chicago District No. 299 began the school year with 25 new Vision buses. With a fleet of more than 350 buses, Sunrise Transportation transports about 5000 students on over 400 routes. “We are thrilled to provide students in Chicago with safe school transportation that produces virtually zero emissions,” said Greg Bonnett, president and co-founder of Sunrise Transportation. “We did our homework when evaluating alternative-fuel school buses. With a propane-powered Vision demo bus pro­vided by our local dealer, Central States Bus Sales, we were able to drive and experience first-hand the advantages of propane autogas. We also spoke with transportation directors across the country, and after continually hear­ing about the year-over-year operational savings, ease of maintenance, simplistic infrastructure, and environmental benefits, we were convinced Blue Bird’s propane-powered Vision was the right solution for Chicago’s school children and our fleet.”

“Central States Bus Sales is proud to offer school buses that provide ample benefits to the Chicago commu­nity,” added Jeff Reitz, president of Central States. “Work­ing together with AmeriGas, the local propane autogas provider, area contractors were outfitted with a turn-key transportation solution that will environmentally and fis­cally benefit the school districts, the contractors, and the City of Chicago. It’s a win-win solution.”

The Blue Bird Corp. propane-powered Vision bus, equipped with a Roush CleanTech autogas system and a Ford 6.8-liter engine, meets all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certifications. The buses emit 60% less carbon monoxide, >12% less carbon dioxide, 20% less nitrogen oxide, and up to 25% fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline-fueled buses. Customers can expect to realize between $3000 and $3500 in fuel cost savings a year for each bus operated.