Blue Bird provides propane buses to Fort Zumwalt school district

Jan. 8, 2013
School district saves $2.15 per gallon of fuel, reduces carbon footprint.

Students in O'Fallon and St. Peters, Missouri are riding in cutting-edge alternative fuel school buses thanks to the district's purchase of eight Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses. 

"The Fort Zumwalt School District recently piloted eight Propane-Powered Vision school buses in an effort to cut costs and reduce emissions. Our experience has been very positive so far, as propane autogas is averaging $2.15 per gallon less than diesel fuel this fiscal year," said Jeff Orr, chief financial officer for Fort Zumwalt School District. "The district is saving around 18.9 cents per mile due to lower fuel costs and anticipates these 8 Propane-Powered buses will save approximately $18,000 this school year. I have been told Fort Zumwalt is the first school district in the state of Missouri to add Blue Bird's innovative Ford and ROUSH CleanTech powered propane buses to its fleet, and we are pleased to be the leader."

Earlier this week, the school district won the Community Leadership in Environmental Awareness Now (CLEAN) award, presented by the Missouri Propane Education & Research Council. The award recognizes organizations that replace conventional fuel consumption for cleaner burning, domestically produced propane. The buses, in operation since last June, produce 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 12 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide and up to 25 percent less greenhouse gases when compared to gasoline.

"The transition to propane autogas has been seamless. Our local Blue Bird dealer, Central States Bus Sales, in addition to ROUSH CleanTech and Ferrell Gas, provided ample training for our entire transportation team," said Jeff Schwepker, director of transportation for Fort Zumwalt School District. "We have enjoyed the performance, quietness and savings benefits that our propane autogas school buses provide and are looking to add additional units to our fleet in the future. I highly recommend the Propane-Powered Vision to any district looking for fuel savings."

"We are delighted that Fort Zumwalt School District is seeing the immediate savings and environmental benefits associated with our propane technology," said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. "These buses will ensure that students in O'Fallon and St. Peters benefit from cleaner air while taxpayers can relish in the fuel and maintenance savings associated with propane autogas. With our partners at Central States Bus Sales and ROUSH CleanTech, Blue Bird will continue to provide comprehensive training and support to the transportation team at Fort Zumwalt." 

"Fort Zumwalt School District is a shining example of how propane autogas can significantly lower the operating costs of school district fleets through the use of a cleaner-burning, domestically produced fuel," said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing at ROUSH CleanTech. "Whether we are talking about a single school bus or hundreds, fueling with propane autogas delivers lower operating costs, fewer emissions and helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Every school district should look to follow Fort Zumwalt School District's lead."

For more information regarding Blue Bird's fleet of propane-powered school buses, visit your local Blue Bird dealer or

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