South Carolina’s Department of Education (DOE) took receipt of the first propane school buses in the state since the 1980’s with the purchase of 26 new Blue Bird Propane Visions destined for two local school districts.
The buses were purchased for Dorchester And Berkeley counties, where they are expected to be added to current routes after being processed by the state’s transportation department. Staff from two maintenance shops, state-certified driver trainers and engineering associates, have already attended a one-day training session taught by ROUSH with more training to come in the form of a two-day advanced course in Michigan.
South Carolina operated some propane buses for Richland County about three decades ago, but the “old technology” was difficult to maintain, requiring more service than the gasoline and diesel buses at the time. Blue Bird says that one Propane Vision bus can also save districts up to $3,500 a year in fuel costs, while also reducing emissions compared to diesel.
Mike Bullman, director of maintenance for the DOE, said, “With aging diesel buses in our fleet, it was time to replace them and propane was the option we thought worked best financially and environmentally speaking over the long term”.
South Carolina’s DOE operates a fleet of 5,600 school buses.