Derry Township School District Deploys Cleaner, More Cost-Effective School Buses Fueled by Propane Autogas


HERSHEY, Pa. — Derry Township School District introduced three new school buses fueled by propane autogas into its fleet for the 2015-16 school year. The Blue Bird Propane Vision buses have already saved the school district money by reducing fuel and maintenance costs.

“It’s our department’s goal to save money in transportation costs that can be used for better purposes. Our normal preventative maintenance will cost about $240 less per bus per year with the propane autogas buses,” said Steve Bell, director of transportation and garage operations for DTSD. “The down time and other repair costs will definitely be less than our diesel buses.”

Along with being fiscally responsible, Bell says the school district’s use of more environmentally friendly buses fit well into the district’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

“We’re delighted that Derry Township made its first purchase of Blue Bird Propane Vision buses, providing cleaner-operating transportation for its students at lower operating costs,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird.

Equipped with propane autogas fuel systems manufactured by ROUSH CleanTech, the buses will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 2,300 pounds and particulate matter by about 95 pounds each year compared with the diesel buses they replaced. Vehicles fueled by propane autogas emit 80 percent fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons and virtually eliminate particulate matter when compared to diesel.

“Derry Township School District is the latest in a growing community of North American school districts to discover the many benefits of propane autogas. It is better for the environment as well as the bottom line,” said Brian Carney, group account director for ROUSH CleanTech.

Another advantage DTSD has experienced with the propane autogas buses is the quieter operating engine. While diesel engines are commonly associated with producing noticeable engine noise, propane autogas engines allow drivers to better hear and communicate with students onboard, and vastly improve the audio clarity coming from onboard camera systems in the buses.

“Our school district appreciates the cleaner air to breathe and a sense of environmental responsibility for the whole community that comes with these buses,” said Bell. “The students and bus drivers, along with the general public, enjoy the lower noise levels which will continue as our district gradually replaces its diesel buses with propane autogas models.”

Later this year, DTSD will take delivery of three additional Blue Bird Propane Vision buses. These buses, which will replace aging diesel models, will be deployed for the 2016-17 school year. The school district plans to continue adding propane autogas buses to its fleet in the coming years.

About Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.

About ROUSH CleanTech

ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Mich. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America.