Propane Autogas Buses Operate Noticeably Quieter

This message is brought to you by the Propane Education & Research Council.

School districts around the U.S. are proudly making the switch to propane autogas school buses. Why? On top of offering the lowest total cost-of-ownership and reducing harmful emissions around students, drivers, and technicians, propane autogas buses operate noticeably quieter than diesel buses.

Engine noise plays a significant role in ensuring the safety of passengers. When a school bus driver has a quieter environment inside the bus, he or she can better hear what’s going on outside the vehicle and what’s happening behind them. Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. The quieter operation of propane autogas school buses helps drivers concentrate on the road ahead, and allows them to respond quickly if necessary.

Unfortunately, aides are not available on all school buses and the driver is responsible for responding to serious situations like medical emergencies or bullying. In these cases, the quieter propane autogas bus makes it easier for drivers to be more aware and respond swiftly.

“The propane bus is just so quiet,” said Carol Patchen, driver for St. Francis Independent School District in Minnesota. “The kids aren’t as noisy; they don’t have to talk so loud. And for me, I can hear what’s on the outside, too.”

Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas operates more than 400 propane autogas school buses. Board President Katie Reed said, “The sound of the [propane] buses is much quieter than either a gas- or a diesel-powered bus, which is also one of the good things for the drivers; it doesn’t make a lot of noise, so they can hear outside sirens, but they can also pay attention to what’s going on behind them, because they have three classrooms worth of kids right behind them.”

You can experience the benefits of a quieter bus for yourself by taking the school bus noise quiz, developed by the Propane Education & Research Council:

As a transportation official, you have the power to change schools and communities for the better with propane autogas buses. To learn more about the benefits of these buses, go to