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Propane Autogas Buses Deliver Cleaner Air, Lower Costs For Hall County Schools

HALL COUNTY, Ga., May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This morning state legislators and dignitaries, including Governor Nathan Deal and Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, recognized Hall County School System as Georgia's first school district to fuel their fleet with clean-burning propane autogas. The school district purchased 20 Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses fueled by domestically produced propane autogas to reduce the community's carbon footprint and lower the county's costs for school bus fuel and maintenance.

The theme of the event, "Georgians supporting Georgians for a greener community," emphasized the need to produce and use products that support a clean and healthy environment, by and for the state of Georgia. Manufactured in Georgia, the 72-passenger Blue Bird Propane-Powered Visions, each featuring a ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system, reduce nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and total hydrocarbons emissions, and virtually eliminate particulate matter, when compared to school buses powered by conventional fuels.

"We choose propane autogas because not only does it represent significant reduced fuel costs and clean-burning properties, but also because the source, natural gas, is in abundant supply right here in America," said William Schofield, superintendent of the Hall County Schools. "With today's tight school budgets, using a transportation fuel that saves taxpayers money, keeps the environment clean, and keeps jobs within our national borders is a win-win for everyone. Plus, our drivers love how quiet the propane buses perform."

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, children are among those most susceptible to the health effects of exhaust exposure as a result of the child's developing body and lungs, narrower airways, faster metabolism, and faster breathing rates than adults.

"Schools across the nation are experiencing the environmental and economic benefits of Blue Bird's propane buses," said Phil Horlock, president & CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. "We are proud to deliver a bus that not only provides school children with a reliable, safe and environmentally-friendly ride to and from school every day, but also fuels economic development in Georgia. We are especially thankful to our partner and dealer, Yancey Bus Sales and Service, for their terrific support of all Blue Bird's customers throughout Georgia."

Compared to their $3.50 per gallon cost for diesel, Hall County pays less than $2.00 per gallon to fuel with propane autogas. The school district expects to save $36,000 in fuel costs for their 20 new propane buses in 2012 alone. Propane autogas, which costs up to 50 percent less than diesel fuel, offers reduced maintenance costs and extend engine life potential due to its clean-burning properties.

"These propane autogas buses really deliver — less noise, reduced costs and fewer air pollutants — all while running on an American-made fuel," said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. "The propane autogas fuel system technology ROUSH CleanTech has developed delivers reliable, safe and consistent operation to the end-user. We're excited to be working with Hall County Schools on this important initiative."

Ninety percent of U.S. propane supply is produced domestically, with an additional seven percent from Canada, and noise levels are decreased by 50 percent when compared to diesel counterparts, giving drivers fewer distractions. Propane autogas refueling infrastructure is less expensive than any other alternative fuel; in fact the school district has chosen to install three 1,000-gallon propane autogas refueling stations on their school properties, each with state-of-the-art dispensers and operation systems.

"Ferrellgas is proud to be the propane provider for Hall County Schools. Our local employee-owners live and raise their families in this community," said Woody Wilkins, Georgia's account manager for Ferrellgas, who demonstrated the ease of refueling with propane autogas during the event. "We're pleased to help deliver a solution that saves Hall County money, significantly reduces local greenhouse gas emissions and helps lessen our nation's reliance on foreign oil."

Shooter Roberts, territory manager for Yancey Bus Sales, agreed. "After two years of planning and extensive analysis, we are thrilled that Hall County, a long-time Blue Bird customer, is taking possession of their Propane-Powered Vision buses." 

Other dignitaries in attendance included State Senator Butch Miller, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce President Kit Dunlap, Director of Pupil Transportation Carlton Allen, and Board of Education Vice Chair Craig Herrington, and Peach County Commissioner Michael Dinkins.

About Hall County : The Hall County School District serves 25,780 students in 33 schools made up of 20 elementary, six middle, six high, and one career academy. Hall County school buses travel more than 3.5 million miles per year, transporting more than 20,000 students daily using 220 school buses and almost 6,000 bus stops on over 3,500 streets. The district's primary mission is to ensure the safest possible transportation system for its students while exploring avenues to make the operation as efficient as possible. According to the Georgia Department of Pupil Transportation, Hall County is currently the second most efficient bus transportation department in Georgia. Contact Gordon Higgins, 678.316.3137,

About Blue Bird: Blue Bird offers a complete line of Type A, C and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations. For 85 years, Blue Bird Corporation has continued to set industry standards with its innovative design and manufacturing capabilities.  Additionally, Blue Bird provides comprehensive financial solutions through Blue Bird Capital Services. Today, Blue Bird has more than 1,500 employees, Georgia-based manufacturing facilities and an extensive network of dealers and service-parts facilities throughout North America. Its global presence can be seen in more than 60 countries through sales into Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit the Blue Bird Corporation web site at Contact Erin Lake, 478.822.2578,

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