Catching this bus saves money

Blue Bird Corp. sells near-zero emission buses to New Mexico schools

A Blue Bird Vision bus, manufactured in Georgia.

Blue Bird Corp. has taken another order for its Vision Propane school buses, this time from the New Mexico Public Education Department and three school districts.

The mid-February deal will deliver 17 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses — the first to operate in the state — helping the school districts to save money and cut emissions.

“Our district has had to dip into operational monies to supplement our transportation costs over the last eight years,” said Teresa Salazar, superintendent of the Moriarty-Edgewood School District. “Adopting propane technology will be significantly cheaper in fuel and maintenance costs.”

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Moriarty-Edgewood was joined by Magdalena Municipal School District and Los Lunas Public Schools in ordering the propane buses.

Blue Bird is a market leader in alternative fuel applications and, in particular, in school bus innovation. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia.

“It is very rewarding to see these New Mexico school districts lead the state towards adopting these near-zero emission propane school buses,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer of Blue Bird Corp. “They will experience the cost- and emissions-reducing benefits with Blue Bird propane school buses, resulting in district savings that can find their way into the classroom.”

Propane autogas prices average 50 percent less than diesel and reduces maintenance cost and wear and tear on the engine and components. Propane buses also emit fewer total hydrocarbons and harmful nitrogen oxides.

According to Blue Bird’s website, one diesel school bus certified at the current standard produces more NOx than 10 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses at the 0.02 NOx level. One diesel bus manufactured before 2007 emits more NOx than 100 Blue Bird Vision Propane buses.

“Propane buses help districts lower their transportation budget by saving on fuel, fluids and filters,” said Ryan Zic, vice president of school bus sales for ROUSH CleanTech. Blue Bird uses ROUSH CleanTech technology in its propane autogas school buses.

In addition, schools and organizations may be eligible for federal fuel tax credits for modernizing their fleet with propane buses.

Blue Bird Corp. was founded in 1927 and manufactures a complete line of Type A, C and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations. Today, the company employs more than 1,500 employees and an extensive network of dealers and parts and service facilities throughout North America.

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