OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Ariz., has launched Arizona's first fleet of propane autogas-powered school buses through a partnership with Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP), one of the nation's largest distributors of propane. Last week school officials took delivery of four buses that are powered by this clean-burning, domestic fuel. An additional 23 propane autogas-powered buses have been ordered.
"Transitioning our fleet to propane makes sense fiscally and environmentally, because propane autogas vehicles cost less to operate and produce fewer carbon and greenhouse gas emissions," said Ron Latko, transportation director for Mesa Public Schools. "Current economic conditions prompted us to look at our fuel options and, with a savings of approximately $2 per gallon, it was hard to ignore propane autogas. We're excited to introduce these new vehicles."
Increasingly, school districts across the country are turning to propane autogas as a means of running a more efficient bus system. Districts are reporting fuel cost savings of 40 percent or more compared to traditional fuels, as well as extended vehicle service life.
"Considering that Mesa Public Schools' bus fleet covers an average of 6.2 million miles per year, a fuel cost savings of $2 per gallon makes a significant impact on the district's bottom line," said George Koloroutis, president of Ferrell North America and senior vice president of Ferrellgas. "We applaud the steps they have taken to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help lessen our nation's reliance on foreign oil by incorporating these green vehicles into their fleet."As an approved alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act of 1990, federal tax incentives are available through 2011 for new propane autogas-powered vehicles, vehicles converted to propane autogas, and alternative fuel infrastructure. Many states also offer additional incentives.