New Leander ISD buses powered by propane, equipped with air conditioning

Williamson County
ROUSH CleanTech Blue Bird Propane Bus Leander ISD2_1543957239641.jpg.jpg

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Two dozen brand new school buses in the Leander Independent School District are better for the environment and cheaper to run. And while it’s not needed this time of year, parents should be happy to hear they came equipped with air conditioning.

Many families put up a fight when classes started in the fall after learning their children were riding home from school in 100-plus degree temperatures with no a/c. A few weeks later the district vowed to have a/c on all buses by the summer of 2019 using bond money and a state grant.

A $740,000 grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enabled the district to buy 24 “Blue Bird Vision Propane” buses. They run on a propane fuel system which the company says produces low nitrogen oxide emissions that are 75-percent cleaner than the EPA emissions standard. 

“The impact of our school bus fleet on the environment is a big concern because many of our community members live in an environmentally sensitive area,” said Ann Hatton, director of transportation for Leander ISD. “They appreciate that our school district is adopting a cleaner transportation option in propane.”

LISD has been using Blue Bird’s propane-fueled buses since 2008, and now has a grand total of 127 of them which equates to 30-percent of the entire fleet.

One of the benefits of school districts using propane buses is the cost savings. Currently, the school district pays 45-percent less for propane than diesel fuel.

“I am pleased that our choice of an alternative fuel can help put money back into the classroom,” said Hatton.

The district plans to double its number of propane buses over the next five years.

Click here to read more on LISD’s overall plan and timeline to equip all school buses with air conditioning.

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