CYPRESS — In helping provide a healthier and cleaner product to CFISD students and the community, the transportation department has acquired nearly 270 propane buses to replace their diesel counterparts and bring the total fleet to nearly one-third that run on the cleaner fuel.
Funded by the 2019 bond package, 266 propane buses will bring the total amount in the fleet to 336. In addition, five new propane fueling locations will be constructed at each current CFISD transportation center. The initial fueling location is in place at the Falcon Transportation Center, with the subsequent four to receive the same 18,000-gallon tank to service the buses.
Approximately 30% of CFISD’s total bus fleet now runs on propane. Diesel buses make up 48% of the fleet, while 22% of the buses use gasoline.
“Where the cost savings is beneficial to CFISD, the drastic improvement in emissions from the older diesel buses we are replacing to the newer propane buses is the most significant aspect of this transition to propane,” said Dr. Kayne Smith, CFISD director of transportation. “These buses will be cleaner for our students, campuses and community.”
The new vehicles run on an emission standard that is at least 118 times cleaner than the buses being replaced.
The propane buses feature engines certified beyond the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest emission standards and exceeding California Air Resource Board’s optional low NOx standard for heavy-duty engines.
In addition, CFISD will be able to take advantage of federal rebates to lower the cost of fuel. Through the rebate programs, propane fuel will cost up to 40% less than both diesel and gasoline per gallon.
Smith said much of the early feedback he has received has been positive. The buses are quieter than their predecessors. Technicians at the transportation centers have also commented on how immaculate the propane buses and their engines look upon initial maintenance inspections.
“It’s a long-term positive investment for the district,” Smith said. “There’s enough analysis out there to be able to see the cost benefit and savings for propane, and the health benefits of propane. As we invest in new school buses, let’s invest in clean energy.”