East Texas School Districts Consider Propane School Buses To Cut Fuel Cost - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/05/08- Gregg County

East Texas School Districts Consider Propane School Buses To Cut Fuel Cost

From the outside, a propane school bus may look like your typical yellow school bus, but  propane school buses are what area school districts are considering buying to replace diesel school buses.

"We've got 39,000 plus school buses in Texas, about 12,000 of them are older than 1990. I would love to see those older buses converted to newer, cleaner, cheaper, buses,"said Michael Williams, Chairman of Texas Railroad Commission.

Experts say propane school buses are energy independence. 

"The propane in the bus is a liquid injections system, so it's more efficient, it's cleaner, and very economical. Some of the school districts that are operating on propane in their school buses pay about $1.25 a gallon," said Curtis Donaldson, President of Clean Fuel U.S. A.

With a driving range of 300 miles, the propane bus costs about $8,000 more than the cost of a diesel fuel school bus, but that's not the only extra cost.

"If we brought propane buses we would have to put in our own fueling station. Also, it's going to change some of the ways and thought processes of our mechanics. I think eventually we're going to go to propane for the bulk of it when I don't know," says Jack Davis, Transportation Director of Pine Tree ISD.

There are incentives for school districts to switch to propane school buses-- like a tax credit. "For every gallon of propane that's purchased 50 cents per gallon can be taken off by a tax credit that comes from the federal government. With this tax credit, it should encourage school districts want to convert from diesel to propane," said Williams 

School districts who purchase propane buses will also be allowed to apply for a $12 million grant to buy more propane buses.

 LaKecia Shockley, Reporting. lshockley@kltv.com.

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