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Phoenix-area school district transitions to eco-friendly school buses

(Facebook/Blue Bird Corporation)

PHOENIX — In an effort to transition into more eco-friendly practices, a Phoenix-area school district has supplied a majority of its school buses with an alternative fuel.

The Kyrene School District officially runs more than 80 percent of its Blue Bird school buses — 98, to be exact — on propane gas, according to a recent press release.

Propane gas is more environmentally-friendly and often is cheaper than other types of fuel, such as diesel, which the district previously used.

Eric Nethercutt, director of transportation and facilities for Kyrene School District, said the propane-powered buses will be less likely to need repairs compared to buses that run on diesel.

“With our Blue Bird propane autogas school bus fleet, our technicians don’t have to worry about the difficulties we encounter when servicing our diesel buses,” he said in the release. “Working with propane is as easy as working on a gasoline engine.”

The school district, which serves the Phoenix metropolitan area, pays an average of $1.15 per gallon for propane gas, compared to an average of $1.50 for diesel. Additionally, using propane will give the district a 36-cent-per-gallon tax rebate.

The new type of alternative fuel will create a better environment for students and bus drivers alike, Nethercutt said in the release.

“It’s a different driving experience because the bus is so quiet,” the release read. “This allows drivers to better interact and talk with students on the bus without competing with a diesel engine.”

According to the release, the Kyrene School District is one of the top 25 school districts in the nation that run their school buses on propane gas.

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